Cnidaria Facility (Rentzsch and Steinmetz)
In the Cnidaria facility we mainly keep different species of the freshwater polyp Hydra (Hydrozoa) and the brackish water sea anemone Nematostella vectensis (Anthozoa).
Nematostella culture: we have established a semi-automated culture system which allows for genetic approaches. A shelf system gives room for over 400 boxes for the different lines. The animals are kept in boxes with 1 L brackish water (1/3 sea water), which is replaced automatically once a day. The animals are fed daily with freshly hatched Artemia brine shrimps. The brackish water is produced automatically in tanks of 1000 L by diluting filtered sea water with reverse osmosis water. The sea water is pumped from 200 m depth out of the fjord of Bergen, in a distance of a few kilometers from the shore. Temperature, salinity and pH are constantly controlled in the tanks. This set up reduces the daily hands-on time of cleaning to a minimum.
Brackish water tanks
Hydra culture: Hydra polyps are kept in mass cultures of up to 1000 animals per tray (1 L). They are daily fed with Artemia brine shrimps and are washed twice a day by hand. The medium is prepared by adding the appropriate amount of salts to reverse osmosis water. By convention hydra is kept at 18°C. We currently keep the following species and strains in our lab: Hydra vulgaris strain Basel, Hydra vulgaris strain AEP, Hydra magnipappillata strain 105, Hydra magnipapillata strain reg16.
In addition to these species we keep a number of other cnidarian species at low numbers. Currently, we have Aurelia aurita (Scyphozoa), Cassiopea xamachana (Scyphozoa), Eirene spec. (Hydrozoa), and Podocoryne carnea (Hydrozoa) in culture.