The provision of marine biological resources for research purposes is a fundamental service of EMBRC.
EMBRC will supply both collected and cultured organisms, which will be made available through direct and remote access (shipment).
Model organisms are characterised by particular biological features, which make them tractable for studying a particular set of processes. Whole research communities build up progressively around model organisms facilitating the development of biological (e.g. mutant strains) and molecular resources (genome sequences, transcriptomes, proteomes, antibodies, tools for functional analysis).
EMBRC will promote and facilitate the establishment of new model organisms and provide the adequate aquarium and culture facilities to sustain important species in the laboratory and trace their life cycle. EMBRC will work on enhancing the practical access to marine bioresources and model organisms by joint development activities among its partners. EMBRC will promote best practice in animal welfare and ethics.
EMBRC will cover a wide range of marine bioresources including natural and mutant strains of both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. A species catalogue complying with the format of the World Register of Marine Species (WORMS) is under development and will be available at the onset of EMBRC operation.
EMBRC will establish links to large culture collections of viruses, bacteria, protists and algae such as the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP), the Roscoff Culture Collection (RCC), the Plymouth Culture Collection of Marine Microalgae, and the MOLA collection of bacterial strains.
The rightful collection and use of marine biological (including genetic) resources is high on the agenda of both national and international legislation (e.g., UNCLOS, CBD and the Nagoya Protocol). EMBRC will work towards a legal clearance of the biological resources that it provides. EMBRC aims to achieve this goal by collaborating with other research infrastructures and the respective authorities of member countries, the EU, and foreign countries to facilitate both research and the implementation of (new) legislation.
Image credit: Sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus © ECIMAT