The Oikopleura dioica culture facility at the Sars centre consists of 32 tanks at 14 ±0,5°C allowing at present the production of 3000 mature adults every week (lifecycle≈6 days at 14°C), and the delivery of juveniles at various stages.
The facility runs several populations differing in the initial place of collection in the fjords and the number of generations spent in culture conditions. The culture protocol is permanently improved so to reduce the manpower/tank ratio, and ultimately allow the establishment of genetic screens. Work at the facility also contributed to facilitate the manipulation of gametes, embryos and adults, including the establishment of sperm cryopreservation.
With the new model system Oikopleura, we try to understand how simple animals evolved from more complex ancestors.
The culture facility supports research of the Chourrout and Thompson laboratories, as well as external collaborations. External labs are encouraged to contact the group leaders for sending staff or students to learn the detailed culture protocol. Support for travel and accomodation will be provided when required and possible. The facility has also produced material and resources used for molecular biology and genome sequencing (cDNA libraries, BAC libraries, sperm for shotgun sequencing, etc....).
We investigate adaptations in the molecular control of developmental cell cycle variants and epigenetic landscapes in abundant marine mesozooplankton.