Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Searching for interesting patterns

As you may already know, one of our research area is studying the molecular background of marble pigment pattern formation in trout. The main focus of our study is marble trout and its spectacular pigmentation, but in order to develop hypothesis about general mechanism of pigment pattern formation, we are interested also in other fish that display similar marble (labyrinthine-like) patterns.

This month Dr. Ákos Horváth kindly invited us to Gödöllő. With just two hours’ drive from their Department of Aquaculture we arrived to a hatchery in Lillafüred where “Tiger trouts” are reared. These hybrids between brown and brook trout exhibit an interesting labyrinthine pigment pattern, similar to the one of marble trout. Since the owner of the hatchery György Hoitsy is a really kind man (and an excellent cook!), he let us take samples from several tiger trouts, and also their parental species. We are now excited to see if the molecular pathways involved in the formation of this pattern are similar to the one in marble trout.

>Ákos, Jelena and Zoran were excited to start sampling

>catching the samples (from the left: Simona, Gergely, Ákos, and György)

>Tiger trout

>First course of our delicious lunch at the hatchery

Apart from “field work” we also had the opportunity to discuss some future plans about the Hungarian-Slovenian project about spermatogonia transplantataion that will involve the two groups and will start next year. 
Of course we couldn’t go home without tasting some of the local cuisine, including fruit soup and the so called Hortobágyi palacsinta (pancakes filled with meat). 

>Hortobágyi palacsinta

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