Eukaryo ABC AS (Algae Breeding Cultures) is a privately-owned company that develops cultivars for macroalgae cultivation in Norway. The cultivars are selected from mother plants in different regions along the Norwegian coast (regulated for aquaculture) with the goal of providing greater yield and better quality and stability than wild individuals. We offer seedlings that ready for being deployed in the sea from the best material available at given times.
Selective breeding of macroalgae means that we select only the best individuals in a population for reproduction. This is a continuous process, and for each generation of offspring from selected mother plants we improve the qualities we are looking for. There are several methods that can be used for breeding; however, we do not use any kind of gene manipulation. Breeding begins by selecting mother plants from wild populations in selected areas, and introduce them into a targeted breeding program. Breeding programs may vary with species and breeding goals. Different forms of light treatment are used to control maturity and developmental stages with regards to further breeding and cultivation for sale.
When the algae are sexually mature they easily release spores, which will develop into male and female gametophytes. In a red-light regime, the gametophytes grow vegetatively without reaching the reproductive phase, so that we have full control over the timing of reproduction. This enables us to produce seedlings independently of the availability of wild material. First selections can already be carried out in the gametophyte stage.
Eukaryo has built its own culture room where the growth and development is controlled by different light and temperature regimes. While red light inhibits further development, blue light promotes reproduction and subsequent growth. For seedling production, cultures are transferred from red to blue light. Male and female gametophytes develop reproductive structures and reproduction is induced. The seedlings are then attached to ropes with different techniques and put into the sea for further growth until harvest. Before selection starts, the size of the seedlings may vary greatly. Differences in size are noticeable at an early stage, and our interest is to select for only the best sporophytes.
The variation in size of sporophytes derived from wild populations is very large and forms the basis for a successful selection. Eukaryo operates in business development with biological development and innovation as its main goal. The focus is on aquaculture, specifically cultivation and selective breeding of macroalgae.
Eukaryo AS is owned by Åsbjørn Karlsen, who established the company after 40 years of experience from research to develop a foundation for business start-ups by improve knowledge and address challenges from research communities to commercialization. Eukaryo AS is now established in Våg, Sandhornøy.