Marine invertebrates are excellent materials for various subjects of researches including embryogenesis, evolution, reproduction and neurophysiology. In marine invertebrates, ascidians are the closest living relatives of vertebrates, and share the chordate-specific characteristics including the dorsal neural tube, notochord, pharyngeal gill and endostyle/thyroid gland with vertebrates.
Ciona intestinalis is the model species of ascidians because of well-annotated genome sequence and accumulated EST/cDNA/protein resources. The genomic analyses have shown that this ascidian has the basic set of the genes for constructing chordate body plan with less redundancy of gene functions. Ciona intestinalis is an excellent organism to perform genetic analyses for understanding gene functions owning to its simple genome and body organization. The inland culture system, transposon-based transgenesis, mutagenesis and knockouts by genome editing have been developed in Ciona. By using these genetic technologies, various transgenic and mutant lines have been created which are splendid tools for studying gene functions. The mission of this Bioresource project is collecting, maintaining and supplying wild types, transgenic/mutant lines and plasmid DNAs used in Ciona studies.
We preserve approximately 130 lines, including various fluorescent protein-expressing lines, enhancer trap lines, cell cycle visualization FUCCI lines, and mutant lines. These transgenic and mutant lines are useful for molecular studies, and they are available from NBRP. In addition, approximately 350 types of reporter constructs and tissue-specific TALEN expression plasmids can also be provided.