NATIONAL AGRONOMY RESEARCH INSTITUTE (INRA) - SCRIBE
Research Group: Fish reproduction
Research Application: Puberty, fertility and spawning control
Description of research: The SCRIBE research unit (joint research unit for fish physiology, biodiversity and the environment) is working towards improving understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying puberty onset and spawning in fish. The research is directed towards molecular and functional characterisation of candidate neuroendocrine pathways involved in gonadotrophin release in fish. We are investigating the KISS/GPR54 and GnRH/GnRH receptor pathways that are involved in GnRH and gonadotrophin release respectively. These studies include the identification of the different key molecules, their functional characterisation (biochemical and biological properties) and their regulation.
Lead researcher(s): Jean-Jacques LAREYRE, Florence Le Gac
Contact details: INRA-SCRIBE, Campus Scientifique de Beaulieu, 35042 Rennes cedex.
UNIVERSITY OF RENNES 1 / NATIONAL CENTRE FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH (CNRS)
Research Group: Molecular endocrinology of reproduction
Scientific Interest: Neuroendocrinology & pituitary
Research Application: Central control of reproduction
Description of research: The molecular endocrinology of reproduction team is a part of the CNRS, hosted by the University of Rennes 1. The team is skilled in the use of the most modern techniques in molecular and cell biology and has long term experience in steroid receptors and GnRH systems in teleost fishes. Research carried out on trout and zebra fish includes expression, regulation and functions of P450 aromatase; cloning, expression and regulation of estrogen receptors. Work is also undertaken on sea bass on the cloning and characterisation of GnRH receptors.
Lead researcher(s): Olivier KAH
Contact details: Université de Rennes 1, UMR CNRS 6026, Campus Scientifique de Beaulieu, CS 74205-35042 Rennes cedex.
INSTITUTO DE ACUICULTURA DE TORRE DE LA SAL, SPANISH COUNCIL FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH (IATS-CSIC)
Research Group: Group of Fish Reproductive Physiology (GFRP)
Research Application: Sex control, puberty control, fertility control, spawning control
Description of Research: The aim of the GFRP is to improve knowledge of the mechanisms that regulate the fish reproductive process by: 1) development of in vitro and in vivo models to study the function of gonadotropins (GTH's) as key factors in gonad development and gametogenesis; 2) studies on the function of GnRH(s) and GTH(s) in sexual differentiation, puberty and the reproductive cycle; 3) understanding the role of environmental factors such as photoperiod and temperature on the control of puberty and the reproductive cycle; 4) generation of tools related to gene transfer in fish and their application to studies of gene function and evaluation for future biotechnological applications (gene therapy); 5) promotion of studies for identification and genetic analysis of molecular markers associated with traits of interest to aquaculture (sex ratio, precocity); 6) development of biotechnological tools for application in the control and manipulation of reproductive processes in farmed populations.
Lead Researcher(s): Silvia Zanuy (gametogenesis), Manuel Carrillo (environmental control), Ana Gomez (molecular biology), Alicia Felip (molecular markers)
Contact Details: Instituto de Acuicultura de Torre de la Sal, Torre de la Sal S/N, 12595 Ribera de Cabanes, Castellon, Spain
Research Group: Fish Reproduction
Research Application: Broodstock management, fertility, spawning and puberty control
Description of research: Research is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which the hypothalamus regulates the pituitary to secrete gonadotropins. This includes the GnRH/GnRHR system, the dopamine/dopamine D2-R system and also more recently the kisspeptin/GPR54 systems. Work is also conducted on how physiological changes arise from changes in social status. Tilapia and zebrafish are used as models, as well as all the leading aquaculture species in Israel (sturgeon, carp, mullet, bass etc.). Techniques used range from cellular to molecular and biochemical.
Lead researcher(s): Berta Levavi-Sivan
Contact details: Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Department of Animal Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot. 76100 Israel. Tel (office): +972 8 9489988; Tel (lab): +972 8 9489868; Fax: +972 8 9465763.
UNIVERSITY OF CADIZ, DEPT OF BIOLOGY, FACULTY OF MARINE & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Research Group: Fish Neuroendocrinology
Research application: Puberty control, spawning control
Description of research: Fish neuroanatomy and neuroendocrinology, in particular for the marine teleost species seabream, seabass and sole. These studies include the elaboration of brain atlases for these three species and the study of the main neuroendocrine systems controlling reproduction. Attention focuses on GnRH in perciforms and analysis of the distribution of different GnRH systems (GnRH-1, GnRH-2 and GnRH-3), their pattern of projection, their targets (GnRH receptors) and the ontogeny of different GnRH cell populations.
Lead researcher(s): José A. Munoz-Cueto
Contact details: Departamento de Biologia, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Ambientales, Universidad de Cadiz, Poligono Rio San Pedro, E-11510-Puerto Real, Cadiz, Spain. Tel: +34 956 016023
UTRECHT UNIVERSITY, FACULTY OF SCIENCE, DEPT BIOLOGY
Research Group: Endocrinology & Metabolism
Research Application: Puberty control
Description of research: Regulation of testis maturation, in particular of spermatogonial stem cell activity and spermatogenesis, by endocrine and paracrine signalling mechanisms. Identity and role of hormone / growth factor receptors in the regulation of spermatogenesis.
Lead researcher(s): Jan Bogerd (molecular biology) and Rüdiger W. Schulz (morphology, physiology)
Contact details: Utrecht University, Dept Biology, Postbus 80058, 3508 TB Utrecht, Netherlands
Institute website: http://www.bio.uu.nl/enmeta
HELLENIC CENTRE FOR MARINE RESEARCH, INSTITUTE OF AQUACULTURE
Research Group: Reproductive biology
Research Application: Sex control, puberty control, spawning control, broodstock management
Description of research: The study of reproductive biology and endocrinology in finfish. The identification of reproductive dysfunctions occuring in male and female brood fish in captivity. The development of pharmacological methods for the control of reproduction, induction of spawning and improvement of sperm quality in commercially important cultured fish. A major application of this research is the development of controlled-release delivery systems (implants) for agonists of the neuropeptide gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRHa). Species of interest include the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), shi drum (umibrina cirrosa), dusky grouper (Epiniephelus marginatus), greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) and atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus).
Lead researcher(s): Constantinos C. MYLONAS
Contact details: Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Aquaculture, Ex US Military Base of Gournes, PO Box 2214, Iraklion, Crete 71003.
CENTRO DE CIENCIAS DO MAR DO ALGARVE (ALGARVE CENTRE OF MARINE SCIENCES)
Scientific Interest: Molecular endocrinology
Lead researcher(s): Adelino CANARIO
Contact details: Centro de Ciencias do Mar do Algarve, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal.
NATIONAL TAIWAN OCEAN UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF AQUACULTURE
Scientific Interest: Endocrine physiology, stress physiology and immunity, gamete physiology, gonad physiology
Description of research: The focus is on important marine aquaculture species, such as the black porgy and the grouper. Key research areas are: fish reproductive physiology, sex differentiation and sex change in fish, reproductive endocrinology and reproduction in coral, hormone regulation in fish, maturation mechanisms in fish, environmental physiology and immunity in fish, and the reproductive physiology of prawns.
Lead researcher(s): Ching Fong CHANG
Contact details: Department of Aquaculture, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan 20224
Website: National Taiwan Ocean University
NOAA, NORTHWEST FISHERIES SCIENCE CENTER
Research Group: Physiology Team (integrative fish biology program)
Research Application: Puberty control, spawning control, broodstock management
Description of research: Research projects include both basic and applied studies on the endocrine control of reproduction in fish, primarily salmon. Main interests are the physiology of gonadotropins, mechanisms of puberty in fish, and how growth and environmental factors influence the age of sexual maturity. Under the captive broodstock research project, research is conducted on how growth at various points in the life cycle influences the age of sexual maturation, fecundity, egg size and gamete viability. The goal of this research is to develop diets and growth regimes that allow for better control of the age of maturation in captively-reared fish. How rearing temperature influences the seasonal timing of spawning is also being investigated, in order to develop methods to advance spawning time in captively reared fish, which are delayed from wild fish. Molecular studies are also being conducted to better understand regulation of hormone receptors, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone and gonadotropin receptors.
Lead researcher(s): Penny SWANSON
Contact details: NOAA, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, 2725 Montlake Blvd East, Seattle, WA, USA.
INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY, DIVISION OF NATURAL SCIENCES
Research Group: Reproductive biology of fish, aquaculture
Research Application: Sex control, puberty control, fertility control
Description of research: Endocrine control of fish sexual behaviour, environmental influence on sexual behaviour, production of recombinant fish hormones for aquaculture.
Lead researcher(s): Makito KOBAYASHI
Contact details: International Christian University, Division of Natural Sciences, 3-19-2 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo, 181-8585 Japan.