Molecular laboratory facilities
We undertake genetics/genomics work at our molecular laboratories in both UCC and QUB. Both laboratories are well equipped for basic DNA/RNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis and microsatellite genotyping work. QUB has an Applied Biosystems 3500xL Genetic Analyzer 24-Capillary Array for sequencing fragment analysis, which is used mainly for microsatellite genotyping purposes. UCC has recently acquired the same instrument, thus doubling our overall throughput potential in this regard. The UCC molecular lab also has a real-time qPCR machine, which can be used for targeted gene expression work and we are moving towards establishing a medium throughput single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) platform at UCC also.
Through links with the recently established Genomics Core Technology Unit (CTU) suite at QUB, Prof. Paulo Prodohl and colleagues are developing a range of genomic pipelines using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology. This includes SNP discovery, genotyping by sequencing protocols, RADseq, shotgun sequencing, transcriptomics via RNAseq, epigenomics via busulfite sequencing, and more.
Experimental aquaculture facilities
At UCC we have constructed a state-of-the-art recirculation system that can run on freshwater or saltwater (housed in the Cooperage Building, as part of the Aquaculture and Fisheries Development Centre (AFDC)). Currently there are 18 tanks in this set-up in a 14,000 litre system and each tank can experience one of two different water temperature regimes (see schematic below). Automated feeders on each tank, connected to a controlling unit, allow for precise control of feed levels. The system is also set up with an automated oxygen and temperature monitoring and alarm system.
This system was designed and constructed by Luke Harman and Steve Hutton.
At the AFDC in UCC we also have the capacity to measure fish metabolic rates using an intermittent flow respirometry system.