NIFES scientists have achieved a world first by developing a gene bank for the fish species Labrus bergylta, the ballan wrasse. Now they are ready to share their genomic library with other users.

– Other research groups that are working on the ballan wrasse will find this gene bank useful (contig assembly). For example, many of them are trying to develop vaccines for this species,” says scientist Øystein Sæle, who is currently encouraging relevant research groups to contact NIFES.

Studying how an organism regulates important genes can tell us a great deal about its biology. In fish larvae, for example, scientists are looking at the genetic expression of digestive enzymes in order to find out what sort of feed the larvae should be given.

– We have identified more than 18,000 genes in ballan wrasse, which means that we have a huge toolbox available for when we want to identify their nutritional needs,” says Sæle.

Ballan wrasse eat salmon lice, and they are in great demand among salmon farmers. However, ballan wrasse have a special digestive system that lacks both stomach and blind pouches, which means that their digestion and nutrient uptake are unusual, so that we need to develop a type of feed that their digestive system can cope with.

Contact: Øystein Sæle

Phone: +47 991 20 835


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