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MATERNAL LEGACY: a project on the quality of fish eggs

The quality of an oocyte is defined by its ability to be fertilised and then permit satisfactory development of an embryo.  The MATERNAL LEGACY project aims to understand the mechanisms by which an egg is able to support the early development of an embryo until it is capable of expressing its own genes.

Trout eggs. © INRA, MARIE Didier
Updated on 12/26/2013
Published on 12/13/2013

A molecular portrait of good quality eggs

The zebrafish (Danio rerio), a model species for vertebrate development, will be used as the study model.  As a first stage, the scientists will study a large number of eggs of different qualities (good, poor, intermediate) and using the data thus generated establish their molecular portrait in order to understand what makes an egg capable of supporting embryonic development.


Applications in fish farming

The long term objective of this work is to identify the molecular characteristics of good quality eggs that are common to different fish species.  The results could lead to important applications in fish farming, notably for selection programmes.  MATERNAL LEGACY involves five research groups*, three of them from INRA, and is receiving funds of €400,000 over a 4-year period.  It has been accredited by the Mer Bretagne competitiveness cluster.


The ANR "White" programme provides funding for ambitious and original research projects.  It is open to all scientific disciplines and all types of research work, from the most academic  to the most applied, carried out in the context of industrial partnerships.  Under this programme, research projects are not subject to any restrictions or specific conditions regarding their nature or the field they address.

Research groups involved:

  • Joint Research Unit for Fish Physiology and Genomics (LPGP), INRA, Rennes
  • Systems Information team of the Livestock Genome Research Unit (SIGENAE), INRA
  • BioCampus Montpellier - MGX-Montpellier GenomiX, CNRS
  • Contract-based Unit for the Animal and Functionalities of Animal Products (URAFPA), INRA Nancy-Lorraine
  • Languedoc-Roussillon Aquaculture Laboratory, Department for the Biology of Marine Organisms, IFREMER
Scientific contact(s):

  • Julien BOBE (+33(0)2 23 48 57 24) Joint Research Unit for Fish Physiology and Genomics (LPGP-1037)
Associated Division(s):
Animal Physiology and Livestock Systems
Associated Centre(s):