Marine invertebrate cell cultures: New millennium trends

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This review analyzes activities in the field of marine invertebrate cell culture during the years 1999 to 2004 and compares the outcomes with those of the preceding decade (1988 to 1998). During the last 5 years, 90 reports of primary cell culture studies of marine organisms belonging to only 6 taxa (Porifera, Cnidaria, Crustacea, Mollusca, Echinodermata, and Urochordata) have been published. This figure represents a 2-fold increase in the annual number of publications over the decade 1988 to 1998. Three other trends distinguish the two reviewed periods. First, in recent years studies attempting to improve cell culture methodologies have decreased, while interest in applications of already existing methodologies has increased. This reflects the effects of short-term cultures in attracting new researchers and scientific disciplines to the field. Second, only 17.8% of the recent publications used long-term cultures, compared with 30.0% of the publications in the previous decade. Third, during recent years research in cell cultures has studied fewer model species more extensively (mainly, Botryllus schlosseri, Crassostrea, Mytilus, Penaeus, and Suberites domuncula), signifying a shift from previous investigations that had studied a more diverse range of organisms. From 1988 to 1998 the phylum Mollusca was the most studied taxon (34.4%), but recent years have seen more studies of Porifera and Crustacea (30.0% and 32.2% of publications) than of Mollusca (21.1%). Still, not even a single established cell line from any marine invertebrate has yet been made available. However, the use of new cellular, genomic, and proteomic tools may fundamentally change our strategy for the development of cell cultures from marine invertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-439
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell culture
  • Marine invertebrates
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Biotechnology


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