Marine Developmental Biology

CODE-Cod development

CODE is a national knowledge platform for studies of the development of biological processes in early stages of Atlantic cod, linked to nutritional, environmental and management aspects

CART expressed in brain of 46 dph cod larvae
Anna Rita Angotzi

Main content

 CODE bring together a broad mass of leading Norwegian scientists with international partners. The platform uses two modern and advanced rearing facilities, one for nutrition at IMR (Austevoll) and one for temperature manipulation at Nofima (Tromsø). The two experimental setups have delivered material from common experiments to the different scientific teams. A reference material sampled from larvae fed natural zooplankton, serves as a baseline to describe the ontogeny of a range of mechanisms and biological processes; brain and vision, endocrine control of appetite and digestion, absorption and metabolism of lipid, osmoregulation, bone structures, muscle development and red-ox balance. The larval development is compared to larvae fed rotifers and the effect of temperature on ontogeny of selected processes is studied. We also study how differential nutritional and temperature programming during early stages affect development and performance later in life.  

The analytical tools are high throughput transcriptomics and metabolomics validated by state of the art physiological, molecular and morphological methods. CODE communicates with Norwegian aquaculture industry and scientific community through participation on conferences, websites of the partners and in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The knowledge acquired in CODE is relevant for management and rearing practice in aquaculture, and for understanding effects of climate change on stock recruitment of Atlantic cod.  

Norwegian partners include Institute of Marine Research, NIFES, Nofima Marin, Sintef, NTNU, University of Nordland, University of Tromsø and UNI Environment. CODE is funded by Research Council of Norway (RCN) from 2010-2014 (21 mill NOK). 

CODE is coordinated Ivar Rønnestad and BIO hosts the platform. Participating scientists in MBD include Jon Vidar Helvik,  Sigurd Stefansson, Lars Ebbesson, Rita Angotzi, Tom Ole Nilsen, Ann-Elise Olderbakk Jordal,and Ivar Rønnestad.


The network employ young scientists, PhD and MSc students. The following BIO students are or have been involved in CODE doing their thesis work- Master students Faezeh Muhammedi, Hoang Thi My Dung Le; PhD candidates: Ragnhild Valen