The Sinnhuber Aquatic Research Laboratory (SARL) is the world’s largest zebrafish aquatic toxicology facility. This laboratory is a unique facility equipped to conduct biomedical research using zebrafish. It is a 17,000 square foot self-contained fish hatchery for rearing fish. It remains the only known certified SPF zebrafish facility and has a low maintenance system with >40,000 fish and >20 transgenic zebrafish lines. Animals spawn daily, producing tens of thousands of high-quality eggs/day. The facility also supports transgenic studies, CRISPR/Cas9 line development, morpholino injections, dietary studies and is equipped for chemical assessments.

SARL is an off-campus research facility located 2.9 miles from Oregon State University.

 

Zebrafish

Oregon State University is AAALAC accredited. All animals are under approved Animal Care and Use Protocols as required by the institutional IACUC.  Animals are housed at the SARL in commercial holding rack units to house adult and larval fish. SARL is home to one of the largest zebrafish toxicology research facilities globally and the only one in the world that is Specific Pathogen Free for Pseudoloma neurophilia, providing confidence in the health of the animals used in these studies. Current animal capacity consists of over 4,000 X 1-6 liter tanks. In addition, we have developed novel 100 and 35-gallon mass egg production tanks. These tanks result in significantly reduced labor costs and unprecedented capacity to produce zebrafish eggs daily. Average daily production exceeds 40,000 eggs. We have developed and obtained several transgenic and mutant zebrafish lines that are available for research. Finally, we also have in-house capabilities to generate mutant fish using zinc finger nucleases, TALENs, and CRISPR Cas-9 methods


Take a tour of the fish room (loads in a new tab)

Why zebrafish?

  • Zebrafish embryos develop externally, outside the mother. The embryos are transparent, and non-invasive microscopy techniques can resolve individual cells in vivo across many developmental stages. We can monitor the development of organs and the impact of chemical exposure in live animals in real time.
  • The molecular responses of zebrafish to chemicals have a high degree of relevance to human biology. The signal transduction mechanisms, anatomy, and physiology of zebrafish are homologous to those of humans. Zebrafish possess all the classical sense modalities, including vision, olfaction, taste, touch, balance, and hearing. 
  • We can generate virtually unlimited numbers of zebrafish embryos. More than 30,000 zebrafish reside at OSU’s Sinnhuber Aquatic Research Laboratory (SARL), and each female produces hundreds of eggs weekly.
  • Zebrafish embryos are small. It is routine to place a single animal into a well-containing microliters of solution. One milligram of a chemical compound supports enough experiments to complete a full suite of studies.
  • Zebrafish embryos develop rapidly. They exercise their complete repertoire of gene expressions and molecular signaling during the 72-hour transition from fertilization to organogenesis. We can test hypotheses, modify experimental designs, and generate new studies quickly in experiments on whole animals.
  • The research community has completely sequenced the zebrafish genome. We can interrogate the expression of the entire genome simultaneously on an array platform to look for molecular signatures of a biological impact. When anomalies occur, we can pinpoint the genomic and molecular mechanisms with powerful tools such as genetic knockdown, chemical genetics, proteomics, and transgenic fish which contain green fluorescent protein either in blood vessels or in specific neuronal populations.


Take a tour the lab (loads in a new tab)

Capabilities

SARL is a state of the art research facility with numerous capabilities that are available to the scientific community. We provide services from distributing zebrafish, zebrafish husbandry to molecular techniques. Below is a list of some of the capabilities:

  • Zebrafish (adult and embryos)
  • Robots for embryo handling
  • High throughput bioactivity screening
  • Behavioral assessments
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • CRISPR/Cas9 technology application to develop zebrafish lines
  • Morpholino knockdown
  • qRT-PCR
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Transcriptomics (RNA, and small RNA)
  • Gene x environment interaction
  • Epigenetic and transgenerational effects
  • Microbiome interrogation
  • Adult exposures (reproductive endpoints)