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Rotigen
Genetic implications in the production of rotifers in commercial finfish hatcheries

In this project, rotifer clones will be isolated from culture samples and genetically characterised. Five clone mixtures will be used to evaluate the effect of culture conditions, methods and microbial flora on the genetic rotifer diversity. The use of resting eggs to maintain a high genetic diversity will be studied and the resting egg production and harvest will be optimised. The genetic selection in commercial cultures will be followed and the results will be presented to the industry in a workshop.

Objectives
The objectives are divided into the following work packages:
Work Package 1: The genetic characterisation of rotifer clones will enable the creation of mixtures of known rotifer clones needed in the other work packages.
Work Package 2: The effect of culture methods on the genotypic diversity of cultured rotifers will document the differences of the selection rate.
Work Package 3: The effect of environmental conditions on the genotypic diversity of cultured rotifers will be determined in stable and variable biotic and abiotic parameters.
Work Package 4: The effect of microbial stability on the genotypic diversity of the cultured rotifers will be studied in monoxenic and axenic cultures using a selected number of bacteria based on previous work.
Work Package 5: The verification of abiotic and biotic conditions at pilot scale will be performed on different sites.
Work Package 6: Sexual reproduction to provide resting eggs of selected clones will be optimised as these eggs can be used as a cyst bank to increase the genotypic diversity in commercial hatcheries.
Work Package 7: The follow-up of cultures in commercial hatcheries will provide 'field' experience and allow the scientific partners to observe the genetic drift in these cultures.
Work Package 8: The obtained information will be assembled in a workshop for the industry and other scientists on the effect of the rotifer culture method on the rotifer genetics and a possible way to prevent crashes.

Progress to Date
Work Package 1: The collection of clones has been established, and protocols for preservation, sending and genetic identification have been set to point. Intercalibration between two partners for genetic analyses has been finalised.
Work Package 6: The preliminary tests have been done.
Work Package 7: Samples have been taken every three days for a six-month period at commercial hatchery, ready for genetic analyses.

Classified in FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

Scientist responsible for the project

Professor PATRICK SORGELOOS
Rozier 44
9000 Gent
Belgium - BE

Phone: +32 9 264 3754
Fax: +32 9 264 4193
E-mail: patrick.sorgeloos@ugent.be

References

Project ID QLRT-2001-01302
Organisation Universiteit Gent
Area 5.1.2
Start date 01 October 2002
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 1 325 702 €
Total EC contribution   1 095 997 €
Status Ongoing

The partners

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