Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology
Burkhardt Group

Ctenophora Facility

The ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi (sea walnut) in our laboratory in Bergen, Norway.

Joan Soto Àngel and Mari Bergsvåg

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Ctenophore facility - Burkhardt Group

The ctenophore culture facility at the Sars Centre supports research activities developed by the Burkhardt group. The facility maintains a stable culture of the comb jelly Mnemiopsis leidyi, also known as the sea walnut.

Our group is studying the origin and evolution of synaptic proteins. We use a comparative approach and work with choanoflagellates, sponges and ctenophores as model organisms

- Pawel Burkhardt


Several hundred specimens belonging to ten generations are currently kept in 12 different tanks ranging from 6-12 L, coupled to rotatory devices that allow a constant circular water flow. Temperature, salinity, pH, and photoperiod are constantly monitored. Animals are fed daily with different planktonic prey, including frozen copepods, and live Artemia and rotifers. The size supplied is selected according to the culture’s life cycle stage. Depending on the needs of the research group, ctenophores are induced on demand in order to produce eggs and recently hatched larvae. Occasionally, a second ctenophore species, the sea gooseberry Pleurobrachia pileus is also kept at the facility.