The Norwegian Zebrafish Platform at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science was established as a National Technology Platform under the Functional Genomics Program, Research Council of Norway.

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February 17th, 2017 Comments (0)

The Norwegian Zebrafish Platform 2007-2012

Zebrafish model in functional omics 2013-.

The zebrafish group at Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science (NMBU Vet; former Norwegian School of Veterinary Science), Aleström Zebrafish Lab (AZLab) at Department of Basic Sciences and Aquatic Medicine (BASAM) served as a National Technology Platform (The Norwegian Zebrafish Platform) 2008-2012) with funding from the Functional Genomics Program (FUGE), Research Council of Norway. Since 2013 the Zebrafish Platform is integrated into Section for Experimental Biomedicine at Department of Production Animal Clinical Sciences, the laboratory animal facility of NMBU Vet. Prof. Erik Ropstad is head of ExpBiomed.

The NMBU zebrafish facility is a moderate sized state-of-the-art zebrafish facility with a holding capacity up to 15,000 fish, since 2008 with AAALAC accreditation. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a lower vertebrate model species, increasingly used for deciphering the genetic and molecular events underlying vertebrate embryo development and other biological processes (for more information see ZFIN and EUFishBioMed).

Recent advancements in genome editing and genome wide omics related studies has made zebrafish even more attractive as model species for human disease (neurological disorders, cancer, heart regeneration, infectious diseases). In parallel, zebrafish have become an attractive laboratory animal for toxicology, including environmental toxicology, as well as moving into aquaculture related areas like aquamedicine, environmental monitoring, vaccine and food development.



Zebrafish is introduced in first semester for veterinary students as part of the integrated Cell Biology course. In a combined anatomy-molecular biology lab course the students study zebrafish embryo development and perform genotype analysis of the nacre mutant. This course is now further refined in the e-ZFbook concept by Charles Press and Peter Aleström.


The Zebrafish Platform/ZNN (2008-2012) run 3 consequtive annual graduate student training courses (4ECTS) “ phd course” with 12 participants/year in 2009-2011. The courses were an integrated part of 3 ZNN conferences with international leading scientists invited as speakers. The entire content of presentations and posters made up the curriculum and was combined with a 5 day practical training course on advanced methods in zebrafish research.



ZNN consists of 22 Norwegian zebrafish/medaka laboratories which are linked to the EUFishBioMed network (former COST BM0408).
Peter Aleström is is member of the board of EUFishBioMed and convener of a joint FELASA-EUFishBioMed working group on European zebrafish husbandry guidelines.



Making the zebrafish model, today used by 22 research groups in Norway (Zebrafish Network Norway – ZNN) a highlighted component of the next 10 year period Norwegian Biotechnology and Aquaculture development, and further to develop the national platform/network into a regional Nordic counterpart, ZFNordic network.

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