Staff Reporter

Tuticorin: A five-day national-level training programme on `Techniques in fish cell culture,' organised by Fisheries College and Research Institute, commenced here on Monday.

Delivering keynote address at the inaugural ceremony, R. Santhanam, Dean, FCRI, said the programme's objective was to disseminate the technology to produce and maintain `cell culture' from fish, which was useful in the study of viruses.

The institute took up cell culture development recently, when it was found that the fish virology studies in the country was hampered by non-availability of `culture conditions' for pathogenic viruses.

"Since the fish cell culture concept remains in its infancy in the country, despite the development of fish cell lines in other parts of the globe, many of the studies pertaining to viral diseases seen in fish and shrimp could not be taken up for want of susceptible cell culture systems for isolation and characterization of viruses," he added.

He said development of fish cultures holds an integral part of fish virology research works since propagation of viruses could be obtained by growing them in cell cultures.

"Unlike other pathogenic organisms, viruses failed to multiply outside living cells and hence to develop a successful control measure required virus susceptible cells for isolation, identification and characterization of viral pathogens."

On various uses of fish cell cultures, he said it could be used extensively in DNA replication, toxicology and genetic regulation.

Earlier, R Saraswathy, Dean, Tuticorin Medical College and Hospital, inaugurated the programme by releasing a training manual.

G. Sanjeeviraj, Head, Department of Aquaculture, and Riji John, Associate Professor (Aquaculture), both FCRI, were present.