We are looking for candidates to request a Juan de la Cierva formación contract (see bases here)  to develop a scientific career within the Nutrigenomics and Fish Growth Endocrinology Group ( led by Dr. Jaume Pérez Sánchez at the Institute of Aquaculture Torre la Sal (IATS- CSIC). The work will be conducted within the framework of National and H2020 EU Projects (PerformFISH AquaIMPACT, AQUAEXCEL3) to characterize phenotypically and functionally the interaction of farmed fish with its environment, using new biotechnological and genomic tools. The expected outcome is to produce more robust and efficient fish by means of integrative approaches based on the use of new few additives, strict criteria of welfare, genetic selection and nutritional/environmental programming.

The candidates should have defended their thesis between January 1st 2018 and the 31st December 2019.

Experience in nutrition, physiology, molecular biology and bioinformatics will be valued.

Interested candidates contact Dr. Jaume Pérez-Sánchez ( before the 5 January 2020 including a CV and up to 2 reference letters.

IATS-CSIC researchers sequence the gilthead sea bream genome

This species shows several genetic duplications, which could explain its high plasticity and adaptation capacity under different farming conditions.

The findings of the study will be applied in genetic selection and environmental programming in order to improve the fish quality.

For more information, visit CSIC webpage.

The article has been published in Frontiers in Marine Science.

Serum metabolome markers of intestinal parasitic infection in gilthead sea bream

Researchers of IATS-CSIC Nutrigenomics group and Fish Pathology group, in collaboration with Universitat Jaume I, Universidad de Cadiz and Portuguese Algarve University, have recently reported the effect of the myxozoan parasite Enteromyxum leei on gilthead sea bream gut integrity and permeability.

The response to an experimental infection with E. leei was studied by means of immunocytochemistry, electrophysiology, metabolomics and intestinal permeability analysis techniques.

This work provides the first functional evidence of the degradation of intestinal integrity caused by this parasite. Differences in serum metabolome in infected fish has highlighted valuable information about markers of parasite infection. In this regard, serum levels of creatine and inosine become excellent markers for discriminating infected and non-infected fish.

This work, which constitutes and important advance on the physiopathology of enteritis, and opens the possibility to new palliative procedures, has been funded by National and European (AQUAEXCEL2020 and ParaFishControl) Projects, and has been recently published in the Open Access journal Parasites & Vectors.

Protective effects of seaweed supplementation in European sea bass diets

Researchers of CIIMAR (Centro Interdisciplinar De Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, Portugal), ALGAPLUS Lda (Ílhavo, Portugal) and IATS Nutrigenomics group have reported the positive effects of 5% dietary supplementation of an aqueous extract of the seaweed Gracilaria sp on sea bass antioxidant capacity and resistance against a bacterial infection.

The study revealed that fish fed the Gracilaria extract showed a delay in mortality after infection with Photobacterium damselae. This beneficial effect was supported by plasma biochemical analysis, liver enzymatic assays and tissue gene expression data that pointed out an up-regulation of immune and antioxidant related pathways in fish fed the dietary supplement.

This work was partially funded by the IMPROV-SEABASS Transnational Access of AQUAEXCEL2020 project at IATS-CSIC facilities.

This study has been published in the Open Access journal Scientific Reports.

Closing lecture of Aquaculture Master by Jaume Pérez-Sánchez


Prof. Jaume Pérez Sánchez, from Instituto de Acuicultura Torre de la Sal (IATS-CSIC), gave the closing lecture of the Official Interuniversity (UAB-UB-UPC) Aquaculture Master , entitled “Nutrition and genetic selection. New tools and perspectives”.

IATS-Nutrigroup and Fish Pathology groups at AQUAEXCEL2020 Brokerage Event

The second AQUAEXCEL2020 brokerage event was celebrated at Aquaculture Europe 2019 in Berlin, as part of the EATiP Day (October 9th). This event provides an excellent opportunity to share with aquaculture industry stakeholders some of the many innovative outputs emerging from research within the AQUAEXCEL2020 project and through its Transnational Access (TNA) programme. The seven presented outputs had been selected by the AQUAEXCEL2020 Industry and Research Advisory Panel (IRAP) comprising professionals from the aquaculture industry and research sectors. Four of these outputs were derived from IATS-Nutrigroup and Pathology groups research and hosted TNAs.

Project Catalogues are available for download:

Defatted yellow mealworm larvae meal


Early life management protocol

Salmon AGD biomarkers

PhD student Ana Basto (CIIMAR) discussed outcomes of research from IATS-EXP TNA project INSECTFISH, focused on European sea bass feeding with mealworm Tenebrio molitor meal. The principal aim of this research was to assess the use of large quantities of insects as protein sources to replace fishmeal in diets for sea bass, and to examine possible effects on their growth and welfare. Dr. Josep Calduch-Giner presented a protocol for early life management for optimal fish performance, highlighting surprising findings in relation to low O2 (hypoxic) conditions at early life stages of gilthead sea bream and its impact later in life. In terms of fish disease, Dr. Carla Piazzon presented on gene expression analysis of Atlantic salmon gills, derived from IATS-ANA TNA project AGDBIOMAR, and how it reveals certain key molecules during amoebic gill disease, one of the main health challenges for the marine Atlantic salmon industry worldwide. It is expected that the findings could contribute to a more timely and accurate detection of the disease which will prevent stock losses and improve fish welfare. Results of this work were recently published in an Open Access publication.

In addition to the knowledge outputs, Professor Jaume Pérez-Sánchez, as AQUAEXCEL2020 WP8 leader, presented the AEFishBIT device to the audience, with a video and an exposition of latest results and applications of this patented biosensor in sea bream and sea bass. This tiny device is designed to be attached to the operculum of farmed fish for individual monitoring of their metabolic traits. The newly patented tool is the result of collaboration amongst biologists, engineers and bioinformaticians from two AQUAEXCEL2020 institutes.

After the event presentations, interactive polls with audience overall revealed a major interest in most of the presented outputs. The next and final AQUAEXCEL2020 industry brokerage event will be held at next year’s Aquaculture Europe 2020 event in Cork (Ireland), presenting the latest high-potential industry-relevant outputs that will be resulting from the final year of the project.


Prof. Jaume Pérez Sánchez from the Instituto de Acuicultura Torre de la Sal (IATS-CSIC) participates in the training course of Fish Nutrition organized in Saint Pée sur Nivelle.

He presented ongoing research in sea bream nutrition and genetic selection for reliable healthy phenotypes of farmed fish under intensive and sustainable production.

Such approaches are based on the use of wide range of omic technologies and new biosensor tools for the individual and non-invasive monitoring of farmed fish from cells to individuals as a whole.