Our cells, all 1 trillion of them, have the same DNA. And this DNA came from one single, very important cell: the embryo.
To guarantee that all cells in a genetically modified organism will have the same modification, we need to modify the embryo.
That is why Limnoperna fortunei embryos production and supply is so important for our research.
Today we spent the day with Dr. Daniel Cataldo and Dr. Esteban Paolucci at the Argentinean Museum of Natural Sciences to learn how to reproduce golden mussels.
The process should actually be simple, if not for one complex part: the organism.
Dr. Cataldo, that studies the ecology of Golden Mussel in Argentine since the invasion started in 1991, walked us through the identification of males and females under the estereoscope. Like many things, it looks so easy to see the eggs after you know they are eggs.
Confirming that we have mature males and females are the first steps. Unfortunately, Limnoperna has no clear sexual dimorphism and the only way to separate them is by opening and checking the gonads. This confirmation than is easy under the estereoscope, since ovaries are big, eggs are by (90um) and brownish, while tests are smaller, sperms is not visible and the color is yellowish.
Then adults are transferred from one incubator at 10 oC to another at 27 oC, in a 0.75ppm solution of..
Then you… nothing. You sit and wait. Bivalves have external fecudation and release gametes in the environment, a process called spawning.
This is going to be our main strategy for CM Mussel colonization