Zebrafish Aquaculture Core Facility

Zebrafish Aquaculture Core Facility at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



The UNC Zebrafish Aquaculture Core Facility provides zebrafish husbandry and training services to researchers at UNC-CH. This facility operates as an IACUC Satellite Animal Facility with veterinary care provided by DLAM. The Faculty Director of the facility is Dr. Jiandong Liu.

The Main facility consists of three adjacent rooms in the Glaxo Research Building:

550 sqft Main Aquaculture Room, including:

  • 16 Marine Biotech aquaculture racks with a capacity of 3,800 liters and 34,000 fish
  • 13.2 cuft air incubator for embryo rearing
  • balance and stir plate
  • dishwashing station
  • +4°C/-20°C storage

85 sqft Life Support Room, containing:

  • carbon/particulate/UV filters
  • automated dosing systems for salt and pH adjustments
  • water pumps
  • Biosystems monitor/controller
  • Millipore RiOS100 Reverse Osmosis unit
  • 750 L water reservoir
  • brine shrimp hatcheries

85 sqft Microscopy Room, equipped with: 

  • three microinjection stations, each with a Leica S6E stereomicroscope and either a Drummond Nanoject II or Sutter Instruments Picospritzer III injector.
  • one Leica MZ16F fluorescence stereomicroscope, equipped with color digital camera and computer.
  • one Leica M205C fluorescence stereomicroscope, equipped with high-speed monochrome fluorescence digital camera and computer.
  • a cell transplantation apparatus

The Zebrafish Aquaculture Core facility also includes a separate 100 sqft Quarantine Aquaculture Room, including one Marine Biotech aquaculture rack with a capacity of 168 liters and 840 fish. 

The following services are available:

  • Zebrafish embryos (several wild-type and transgenic lines available)
  • Facilities for zebrafish microinjection and light stereomicroscopy
  • Training for zebrafish embryo handling, microinjection, and light stereomicroscopy

Embryos are available Tuesday through Friday, with training available upon request. Assistance with phenotypic assessments should be prearranged with Dr. Liu.

Fees collected for use of this core facility provide support for the supplies, maintenance, and operating expenses associated with the facility. For a copy of our current fee schedule, please contact the facility manager, .

Reservations for embryos or microinjector use must be made in advance with facility staff, and cancellations must be made at least 3 days in advance.

Please direct inquiries to Jiandong Liu (Faculty Director) or Michelle Ortwine (Manager):


Jiandong Liu, PhD

Michelle Ortwine ortwine@email.unc.edu

UNC Zebrafish Aquaculture Core Facility
024 Glaxo Research Building
CB# 7545
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Phone: (919) 843-5370

Additional resources:

UNC Fishroom Calendar
ZFIN: Zebrafish Model Organism Database
ZIRC: Zebrafish International Resource Center
ZF-MODELS: Zebrafish Models for Human Development and Disease

Zebrafish Husbandry