Improved Media Formulations for Primary Cell Cultures Derived from a Colonial Urochordate

Andy Qarri, Dietmar Kültz, Alison M. Gardell, Baruch Rinkevich, Yuval Rinkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cultivation of marine invertebrate cells in vitro has garnered significant attention due to the availability of diverse cell types and cellular potentialities in comparison to vertebrates and particularly in response to the demand for a multitude of applications. While cells in the colonial urochordate Botryllus schlosseri have a very high potential for omnipotent differentiation, no proliferating cell line has been established in Botryllus, with results indicating that cell divisions cease 24–72 h post initiation. This research assessed how various Botryllus blood cell types respond to in vitro conditions by utilizing five different refinements of cell culture media (TGM1–TGM5). During the initial week of culture, there was a noticeable medium-dependent increase in the proliferation and viability of distinct blood cell types. Within less than one month from initiation, we developed medium-specific primary cultures, a discovery that supports larger efforts to develop cell type-specific cultures. Specific cell types were easily distinguished and classified based on their natural fluorescence properties using confocal microscopy. These results are in agreement with recent advances in marine invertebrate cell cultures, demonstrating the significance of optimized nutrient media for cell culture development and for cell selection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1709
Issue number13
StatePublished - 23 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the BSF, as part of the joint program with the NSF (NSF/BSF no 2021650; to B.R., D.K. and A.M.G.), the European Research Council Consolidator Grant (ERC-CoG 819933; Y.R.), the LEO Foundation (LF-OC-21-000835; Y.R.) and by the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD) Anniversary Fund Programme (ICN: 98201; Y.R.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • Botryllus schlosseri
  • blood cells
  • cell culture media
  • cell proliferation
  • cell viability
  • primary cultures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)


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