Partner 6: NOFIMA - Norweigian Institute of Fisheries and Food Research (Norway)

NOFIMA ( is a new industry-oriented research group that conducts research and development for aquaculture, fisheries and food industries. The research group consists of all activities at the former Akvaforsk, Fiskeriforskning, Matforsk and Norconserve. NOFIMA is a non-profit company owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs. The institute research covers central parts of the fisheries and aquaculture industry’s need for knowledge, and is concentrated around all parts of aquaculture and fishery research. 

Research activities focus on breeding, feed development, disease prevention, animal welfare and environmentally integrated production. NOFIMA employs the equivalent of 240 man-labour years. NOFIMA (50%) are together with the University of Tromsoe (50%) owners of Tromsoe Aquaculture Research Station. The research facilities have conventional fish tanks for growth studies, and water quality (gas, metabolites etc.) and salinity (0 to 33 ppt), photoperiod and temperature can be manipulated on request. NOFIMA has facilities, equipment and methods for studies of different aspects of fish reproductive physiology.

Tasks inside the project

NOFIMA will lead WP7 to develop new criteria and strategies for induction of final stages of oocyte maturation. Special emphasis will be on development of oocyte maturational competence, in vitro and in vivo steroid induced maturation, and sex steroid analysis. NOFIMA will participate in WP 1, WP 3 to 6 and WP 9 and 10. 

Relevant experience regarding major tasks

At NOFIMA the required assays for measurement of free and conjugated steroids as well as their identification have been established. Antisera and radioimmunoassays for commonly studied sex steroids in fish (E2, T, 11-KT and 17,20b-P (DHP)) as well as procedures for in vitro steroid synthesis and oocyte maturation are available. Also assays for molecular cloning, DNA sequencing and analysis, subtractive cDNA library construction, in situ hybridization, and quantitative realtime RT-PCR are run at regular basis. 

Project participants

Dr. Oeivind Andersen has broad experience in molecular fish biology, including reproduction and sex determination/differentiation. He has been the project leader of several international research projects studying regulatory mechanisms of reproduction in aquaculture species like salmon, halibut and cod.

Dr. Helge Tveiten has worked with different aspects of fish reproductive physiology for more than 10 years. Special emphasis has been on studies of endocrine regulation of gonad development and effects on gamete quality. He has developed antisera and radioimmunoassays for commonly studied sex steroids in fish, as well as procedures for in vitro steroid synthesis and oocyte maturation. Tveiten has conceived and coordinated two major Norwegian Research Council projects assessing gamete quality (Gamete quality in coldwater marine fish and Temperature effects on gamete quality in Atlantic cod). 

Relevant publications

Kobayashi T, Andersen OE. The gonadotropin receptors FSH-R and LH-R of Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus)1. Cloning, characterization and differential follicular expression of the two receptors in a repetitive spawner. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 156, 584-594.

Tveiten, H., Scott A. P. & Johnsen, H. K. 2000. Plasma-sulfated C21-steroids increase during the periovulatory period in female common wolffish and are influenced by temperature during vitellogenesis. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 117: 464-473

Tveiten, H. & Johnsen, H. K. 2001. Thermal influences on temporal changes in plasma testosterone and oestradiol-17b concentrations during gonadal recrudescence in female common wolffish. Journal of Fish Biology, 59: 171-178.

Kime, D. E. & Tveiten, H. 2002. Unusual motility characteristics of sperm of the spotted wolffish. Journal of Fish Biology, 61: 1549-1559.

Tveiten, H. & Scott A. P. 2003. Steroid synthesis in follicular cells and induction of germinal vesicle breakdown in spotted wolffish (Anarhichas minor) oocytes. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 28: 373-374.

van Nes, S Andersen OE. Temperature effects on sex determination and ontogenetic gene expression of the aromatases cyp19a and cyp19b, and the estrogen receptors esr1 and esr2 in Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus). Mol. Reprod. Biol. 73, 1481-1490.
22 MAY 2024