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LIFECYCLE is a large collaborative research project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. The project is funded within one of the major themes of the Cooperation part of the 7FP; Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology. The major aims of projects in this theme are to build a European Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE). In order to do so, focus is placed on areas where current knowledge is lacking and where research has to be carried out on a multinational scale for it to be really effective. One such area (or topic) identified was "Essential biological functions related to the most relevant stages of aquaculture fish life-history",

A total of nine applications competed at the first stage evaluation, three were invited to submit a full, second-stage application, and of these the LIFECYCLE application was granted a 6 M€ funding from the EC. The LIFECYCLE project started on February 1st 2009, and is made up of 14 research groups from 9 different European countries, including universities, research industries, aquaculture research stations and an aquaculture producer.

The LIFECYCLE project is set up to deliver a knowledge-base designed to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the European aquaculture industry, through a combination of question-driven and problem-driven approaches;

1) The first focus is on the early life stages. Understanding the importance of maternal gene transfer during early development, the mechanisms of sex differentiation, the ontogeny of immune competence, the development of the musculoskeletal system, transporting epithelia and regulatory mechanisms which control larval growth and development, is of key importance to solve a large number of current production bottlenecks.

2) The second focus is on the growth and environmental adaptation of the juvenile-adult life stages, addressing questions relevant to production problems related to poor growth, energy utilization and flesh quality, which is often linked to environmental maladaptation.

3) The third focus is on important issues linked to key life-stage transitions, such as metamorphosis, smoltification and, especially, onset of puberty.

IMR is one of the key partners in the project with extensive experimental activities on Atlantic salmon and Atlantic cod, applying morphological, physiological and genomic research approaches to with particular focus on the impact of broodstock stress on the subsequent skeletal development of the offspring in salmon and cod, and onset of puberty in salmon.

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Contact Information

Professor and coordinator
+46 31 786 3691