Fifteen weeks after their arrival in Liège, one female has fallen for the charmes of the dominant male in her tank. Male Ophthalmotilapia create a bower in the sandy bottom and start a display to attract the attention of the female. When the female decides to enter the bower, she deposits eggs, one by one, and takes them up in her buccal cavity. The male defends the bower during the whole process. The male releases sperm in the water, which is then taken up by the female. Fertilisation presumably occurs in the mouth of the female. The female in the movie ended up with 16 eggs in her mouth.
Movie: deposition and uptake of five eggs by a female O. ventralis. The male guards the bower.
Beginning of Octobre 2014, we recieved young tilapia’s from the aquaculture facility in Tihange to practice dissection of the brain and to optimise the RNA extraction procedures in the molecular lab. Tilapia’s are cichlids that are cultured in large quantities for human consumption. Their brain size and form are very similar to that of Ophthalmotilapia.
Ever wondered how the brain of a cichlid fish looks like? It consists of six parts that can be easily distinguished from each other: the brain stem, cerebellum, optic tectum, telencephalon, diencephalon and olfactory bulbs. In the GENBAS project, we will investigate gene expression patterns in those regions of the brain that are involved in mate pairing.