, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 265–277 | Cite as

Investigating the establishment of primary cell culture from different abalone (Haliotis midae) tissues

  • Mathilde van der MerweEmail author
  • Stéphanie Auzoux-Bordenave
  • Carola Niesler
  • Rouvay Roodt-Wilding
Original Research


The abalone, Haliotis midae, is the most valuable commodity in South African aquaculture. The increasing demand for marine shellfish has stimulated research on the biology and physiology of target species in order to improve knowledge on growth, nutritional requirements and pathogen identification. The slow growth rate and long generation time of abalone restrict efficient design of in vivo experiments. Therefore, in vitro systems present an attractive alternative for short term experimentation. The use of marine invertebrate cell cultures as a standardised and controlled system to study growth, endocrinology and disease contributes to the understanding of the biology of economically important molluscs. This paper investigates the suitability of two different H. midae tissues, larval and haemocyte, for establishing primary cell cultures. Cell cultures are assessed in terms of culture initiation, cell yield, longevity and susceptibility to contamination. Haliotis midae haemocytes are shown to be a more feasible tissue for primary cell culture as it could be maintained without contamination more readily than larval cell cultures. The usefulness of short term primary haemocyte cultures is demonstrated here with a growth factor trial. Haemocyte cultures can furthermore be used to relate phenotypic changes at the cellular level to changes in gene expression at the molecular level.


Haliotis midae Cell culture Larval Haemocyte Viability 



This work was supported by a research grant from the NRF Innovation Fund and Industry partners (Irvin & Johnson Limited, Abagold (Pty) Ltd, Aquafarm Development Company (Pty) Ltd, HIK Abalone (Pty) Ltd and Roman Bay Sea Farm (Pty) Ltd). Stellenbosch University is thanked for facilities provided and HIK Abalone for providing samples.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mathilde van der Merwe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stéphanie Auzoux-Bordenave
    • 2
    • 3
  • Carola Niesler
    • 4
  • Rouvay Roodt-Wilding
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeneticsStellenbosch UniversityMatielandSouth Africa
  2. 2.UMR 7208 BOREA (Biologie des Organismes et Ecosystèmes Aquatiques), MNHN/CNRS 7208/IRD 207/UPMCMuséum National d’Histoire NaturelleConcarneauFrance
  3. 3.Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris VIParisFrance
  4. 4.School of Biochemistry, Genetics and MicrobiologyUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalScottsville, PietermaritzburgSouth Africa

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