ZEBRAFISH, XENOPUS and LAMPREY FACILITY
The zebrafish facility in the Beckman Institute basement is currently comprised of a fish room with a 1000 tank housing capacity, 300 breeding pair capacity and is maintained by a state of the art Multi-rack re-circulating Aquaneering aquatic housing system that is fully automated. This facility is large enough to permit investigators to conduct genetic screens. The second floor quarantine system has a 300 tank housing capacity. On these systems, a large tank can hold up to 30 adult fish and the smaller tanks permit housing of up to 15 adult fish. The fish room is also equipped with a special light box, which allows for time-sensitive breeding.
For genetic manipulation purposes, there are two dedicated micro-injectors, four microscopes, and two fluorescent microscopes. Two 28 °C incubators facilitate the development of harvested eggs to larval stages, and there is another 22 °C incubator to permit slower development of embryos/ larvae. Another added advantage is that the fish facility is in close proximity to the Beckman Institute Imaging Center, thus allowing investigators to make time-lapse movies with ease. A dedicated technician, who is an expert in maintaining fish, is currently employed to maintain the aquatic housing systems, feed fish, ensure that the housed fish population is healthy, clean tanks, set up crosses, and maintain lines.
Within the Xenopus facility, wild type Xenopus laevis adult frogs are housed in a newly built facility, immediately across from the Zebrafish Facility. The facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art Aquaneering aquatic housing system, fully automated and equipped with multiple filtration system to maintain water quality, as well as a remote monitoring system. At full capacity, the facility can house up to 1000 adult frogs. Basic procedures in Xenopus, such as egg collection and embryo fertilization, can be performed within the Beckman frog facility.
There are very few places in the world where one can work with lampreys, and the present Caltech Facility is unique in combining access to breeding lampreys and to state-of-the-art molecular genetic facilities. The existing facility includes a re-circulating tank system, incubators for housing embryos, and a dedicated microscope space kept at an appropriately low (<18oC) temperature. We have four 250-liter tanks with appropriate biological filtration and aeration to house a maximum of approximately 80 adult lampreys at one time. Gravid Lampreys captured by the Fish and Wildlife Service are shipped from Marquette, MI, and immediately introduced to our tank system. Once lampreys are acclimated to the system, gradual increases in water temperature trigger final gamete maturation, allowing in vitro fertilization. We usually isolate 10,000-20,000 embryos per female. Embryos are incubated at 18oC, and sorted daily to minimize mortality. The seasonal nature of lamprey breeding and the volume of eggs they produce makes the system a unique opportunity for training, and for years we have worked alongside local high-school students.
In order to use the fish facilities, please contact David Mayorga for information about training: firstname.lastname@example.org or Rosa Uribe
In order to use the frog facilities, please contact Lea Goentoro: email@example.com. For more questions about the Lamprey facilities, please contact Stephen Green: firstname.lastname@example.org