Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology

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Underwater images of marine life

The Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology, created in 1997, is established within the University of Bergen as an independent research centre and studies the basic biological processes in marine organisms using functional and comparative molecular methods. It is a partner with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL.)

Portrait of Chiara Castelletti and Vincenzo Perria

Coming to us from Italy, PhD students researching our local Ciona.

Chiara Castelletti and Vincenzo Perria are here in Bergen to reveal the secrets of Ciona’s development and its resilience to climate change.  

Landscape photograph of the High Technology Centre and Ulriken in the background

An introduction to the Sars Centre

The Sars Centre is unique in the field of molecular biology. As a partner of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) since 2003, the centre looks for answers to fundamental questions in animal physiology and evolution by focusing on marine invertebrate organisms. 

Four Fritillaria in their houses colored in yellow, red, green and blue

Towards a new larvacean model system

Most of what is known of larvacean biology today comes from the study of a single species - Oikopleura dioica. A new report from Daniel Chourrout’s group introduces the very first long-term culture of the larvacean Fritillaria borealis, finding major differences to well-studied


Deciphering calcium signaling during chordate development

Calcium signaling is important for many developmental processes but has been studied in only a handful of animal species throughout the entire span of embryonic development. A recent study sheds light on the importance of calcium waves during development in the tunicate Oikopleura dioica.

Photograph of nematostella spawning

An ancient nutrient transport system in a sea anemone

Blood systems allow the transport of nutrients throughout the body in many animals. A recent study looking at nutrient transport in a sea anemone highlights the simple cellular and molecular mechanisms that allowed animals to transport nutrients before the existence of complex circulatory systems.