Aquatic Invertebrate System (AIS)

Our exciting new aquarium system can hold prawns, oysters, mussels and many other aquatic invertebrates.

The  Aquaculture team at the Roslin Institute has worked with shrimp, oysters and mussels across numerous projects, and in 2023 we commissioned a new invertebrate aquaculture facility in order to help carry out more important research.

Our facility is highly flexible, designed to hold animals from freshwater through to full strength seawater, temperatures from 4 to 40 degrees Celsius. The system is fully biosecure, meaning we can study the impact of important aquaculture pathogens on these animals and it enables our researchers to utilise CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology, which is of vital importance for research purposes and is likely to become an important mechanism of improving animal welfare and productivity.


AIS aquarium tanks

Invertebrates such as shrimp, mussels, oysters and crabs are farmed for food all over the world and are an important source of healthy protein for millions of people.

The biggest problem facing farming of these species is that of infectious diseases such as White Spot Syndrome Virus in crustaceans and Oyster herpes virus in molluscans.

These diseases currently cost billions of dollars per year in losses and unfortunately there are very few options available to farmers that want to control them.

The investment in this facility, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Rosin Institute, provides one of very few opportunities for UK scientists to study aquatic invertebrate disease with the aim of identifying new routes to prevent the spread and impact of disease. 


Whiteleg Shrimp
Penaeus vannamei