The zebrafish model system was installed at the CBD in November of 2001 with the arrival of a research team directed by Patrick Blader. The choice of installing the new model system aimed at complementing the chicken and mouse models with a “forward genetic” vertebrate model. While the initial installation of the zebrafish aquarium facility provided for 5 tank racks (maximum capacity 3500 adults animals), in the spring of 2007 the installation was expanded to its present capacity of 13 tank racks (approximate capacity 10000 adult zebrafish); at present, the number of fish housed in the CBD zebrafish facility varies between 3000-5000 adult animals, including approximately 35-40 transgenic and 25-30 mutant lines.
A transgenesis platform composed of two microinjection stations and a cell transplantation rig are associated with the animal facility. At present capacity, the zebrafish facility offers a platform for three research groups at the CBD (Blader, Vandel and Soula/Cochard) and also to other groups within IFR109 (Cavaillé). In keeping with the expansion of capacity of adults, future projects include the creation of a larval raising facility better adapted to the new capacity and the addition of a third microinjection station.
The zebrafish platform is unique in the local landscape being the only such facility located on a Toulouse research campus. The platform also serves as a teaching platform for Université Paul Sabatier providing embryos at levels from L1 to M1 and a research platform for M2R/M2Pro and ultimately PhD.