Welcome to the new Roslin shrimp facility

Our new shrimp aquarium helps kick start research into genetics and health of globally-important shrimp species.


To support recently-funded research projects and future plans at the Roslin Institute, we have developed a new shrimp aquarium facility. This facility can hold Pacific whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) at multiple stages in their life cycle; including four 40 litre aquariums, ten 60 litre aquariums, and two 80 litre aquariums, together with smaller tanks for juveniles. Shrimp are circulated between tanks as they mature, with the largest aquariums housing fully-grown specimens.

PhD student Alexandra Florea and her colleagues are working on a project studying host resistance in Pacific whiteleg shrimp, which is in collaboration with Roslin Technologies. The shrimp facility provides us with the ability to conduct in vivo experiments, as well as establishing primary cell cultures for in vitro experiments.

Young Pacific whiteleg shrimp are kept in submerged pots before being transferred to larger aquariums as larger juveniles.

Alexandra is studying host response to the infamous white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). This viral infection can devastate farmed shrimp populations due to high levels of mortality; as shrimp make up almost 20% of the world trade in aquaculture products, WSSV has therefore had major impact on global aquaculture for several decades. Ultimately, Alexandra's project aims to help prevent outbreaks of WSSV in shrimp populations worldwide, and includes plans to use CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, which could help prevent economic losses for the shrimp industry worldwide by developing more resistant strains.

Alongside her research, Alexandra developed a virtual tour of the shrimp facility to give visitors a closer look at our work and equipment. It is tremendously exciting to offer viewers this guide to one of our new facilities! 

You can find the video via our new shrimp facility page in the Research Aquaria section.

You can learn more about Alexandra via her page in the People section. 

As we continue to update the Aquaculture website with more information about our many new research facilities and aquariums, we hope you enjoy this detailed guide to the shrimp facility. Many thanks to Alexandra for her incredible video and to the Science Insights Team for providing captions. Alexandra's BBSRC EastBio studentship is undertaken in partnership with Roslin Technologies.