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About Ciona intestinalis

Ciona intestinalis


In addition to their unique evolutionary position as invertebrate chordates, ascidians provide a simple experimental system to investigate molecular mechanisms underlying development, reproduction, endocrinology, and physiology. In particular, their tadpole-type larva, which has a notochord and a dorsal neural tube, represents the basic chordate body plan.

Ciona intestinalis
is the seventh animal of which draft genome was decoded in 2002. The approximately 160-Mb genome is estimated to contain -16,000 protein-coding genes. Together with the genome information, cDNA resources as well as information of expression profiles of genes and proteins have been accumulated. In addition, C. intestinalis is the only marine invertebrate that has the advantages necessary for developmental genetics: the application of transgenic technique and Minos-based mutagenesis and established inland culture system. Mutagenesis is carried out by the Minos transposon. Insertional mutant strains and a variety of marker lines that express tissue-specific reporter genes are available.

C. intestinalis
is now an indispensable model organism for world-wide research communication in life science. For research support, Kyoto University and Shimoda Marine Research Center, University of Tsukuba, collaborate in NBRP resource project for collection, maintenance and distribution of wild and transgenic lines.

Contact: Resource Center :Shimoda Marine Research Center, University of Tsukuba

Representative : Yasunori Sasakura