Ascidian Stock Center

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        Ascidians are an emerging model system for the study of embryology, gene regulatory networks, chordate evolution and comparative physiology.  Ascidians have great potential as a model system, but they present unique experimental challenges.  One of the limitations of ascidians as an experimental model is the dependence of most of the ascidian community on wild-caught animals.  The Smith lab has established an ascidian culturing facility at the marine laboratory of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) in order to provide a supplemental source of Ciona (C. robusta and C. savignyi) adults for research laboratories.

The ASC provides

Note on species names. It has recently been brought to the attention of the ascidian community that there has been confusion regarding the names of commonly used experimental species. In particular there has been widespread misidentification of the species Ciona robusta as Ciona intestinalis. In fact, the natural range C. robusta is much broader, and it has been used experimentally much more than C. intestinalis. We supply Ciona robusta and Ciona savignyi.


The ascidian stock center is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (R24GM075049).  Please acknowledge the Ascidian Stock Center in any resulting publications. 


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Last Modified 1/3/17