US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Vol. 90: 15–23, 2010


U.S. Government Work.


This study describes the development and partial characterization of a continuous fibroblastic-like cell line (BEF-1) developed from late stage embryos of North American burbot Lota lota maculosa. This cell line has been maintained for over 5 yr and 100 passages in vitro. Cells were cultured using Eagle’s minimum essential medium with Earle’s salts (MEM) supplemented with GlutaMAX ™, and 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), pH 7.4. The addition of penicillin-streptomycinneomycin (PSN) antibiotic mixture (0.05, 0.05, 0.1 mg ml–1, respectively) did not negatively influence cell replication; however, the antimycotic Fungizone™ (2.5 μg ml–1, amphotericin B) caused cell rounding and resulted in a severe decrease in cell proliferation. Optimal incubation temperature has been observed between 15 and 23°C, and at these temperatures cultures are routinely passed using standard trypsinization methods every 5 to 7 d at a split ratio of 1:3 or 1:4. The cell line was susceptible to isolates of the M and U North American genotypes of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV), and to isolates of genotypes I, IVa, and IVb of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV). In contrast, the cell line was refractory to infection by 2 North American isolates of infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) from serotypes A1 and A9. This cell line provides a new laboratory tool, will allow further investigation into viral diseases of burbot and possibly other species, and is the first immortalized cell line reported from a species in the Gadidae (cod) family.