About the service
The provision of marine biological resources is the heart of EMBRC France’s mission and service offer. EMBRC France can provide a wide-range of marine organisms including: microorganisms and macroorganisms, strains and cultured marine models, and collected wild organisms from Atlantic and Mediterranean ecosystems, as well as coastal and oceanic environments.
Where the service is available
This service offer is made possible thanks to three aquariology services, four culture collections, and a samples collection, managed by scientifically and technically skilled staff in strong interaction with cutting-edge research groups.
The biological service offer is available at the three partner marine stations in EMBRC France: Roscoff Marine Station (SBR), the Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer (OOB) and the Institut de la Mer de Villefranche (IMEV).
Description of the service
The stations’ aquariology services provide expertise and equipment for collecting wild marine organisms (in collaboration with their ecosystem access services, when needed) and culturing a wide-range of macro-organisms in experimental conditions. The aquariology services master the culture of the completed life cycle of different species of invertebrates, of interest for evolutionary and developmental studies as well as for medical and biotechnological studies, and some model fish species.
The Roscoff Culture Collection is the largest collection, with more than 5 000 strains of marine microalgae as well as macroalgae, protists, bacteria and viruses. It is located in SBR, the oldest station in EMBRC France (founded in 1872). The Banyuls Bacteria Culture Collection is specialised in bacteria of marine origin. Located in OOB, its strong interaction with other technical platforms at the same station facilitates significant studies on bioprospecting and biotechnological applications of compounds of marine origin.
The Mediterranean Culture Collection of Villefranche is located at IMEV and is specialised in marine microalgae, particularly dinoflagellates able to produce toxic compounds and other bioactive molecules. Some of these strains are mixotrophic or benthic, requiring a specific set of skills and competencies from staff managing the collections. A fourth collection of mutant diatoms is located in Paris, at the laboratory of Chloroplast Biology and Light-sensing in Microalgae. There is strong collaboration with OOB staff with expertise in on-demand mutant creation from other microalgae species.
Unique feature, valuable resource
Together with the mutant diatoms collection/mutant creation know-how, the Centre de Collection Planctonique de Villefranche-sur-Mer (CCPV) is a very unique feature of EMBRC France. The CCPV curates preserved samples from research projects and oceanographic campaigns performed worldwide, such as Tara Oceans campaigns. In some cases, the samples were collected more than 20 years ago. These formalin-preserved samples provide a snapshot of planktonic diversity in marine environments, an asset of incredible value for studies on biodiversity shifts and climate change in long time frames and wide geographical areas.
The technological platforms located in the three marine stations, all specialised in dealing with marine samples, are an added value for the users of this rich and powerful EMBRC France biological resource service.
Photo credit (all images): Wilfried Thomas, Station Biologique de Roscoff (EMBRC France).