Live preys in aquaculture, larviculture and ecotoxicology group
The group was established in 1984. The origin and the diversity of its present research lines are a consequence of the initial studies of the group focussed almost exclusively on the biology of the branchiopod crustacean Artemia and its use in aquaculture. The utilisation of Artemia nauplii as indispensable live food in marine larviculture, the almost exclusive origin of this resource from the American continent, and the lack of information about the biodiversity and biogeography of the different species of the genus Artemia around the world, have driven the evolution of the group research lines from its creation.
All group members, during their predoc and postdoc periods, have focussed their interests into the study of the characterisation of the species and populations of the genus Artemia, using diverse methodologies. This has led to the creation of a research group with a substantial knowledge on this organism worldwide.
Based on the experience gained in the study of Artemia, a number of research lines in both basic and applied topics have been developed in the group. These lines have been aimed with innovative vision to the development of frontline scientific disciplines such as:
The study of the molecular mechanisms that explain the biosynthesis of long chain (C20-24) and very long (> C24) polyunsaturated fatty acids in aquatic animals.
The evaluation, improvement and zootechnical application of the nutritional status of live preys for larval rearing of marine species, applied lipidology (polyunsaturated fatty acids – PUFAs), and the development and vehiculation of nutrients in lipid microparticulate diets (emulsions and liposomes).
The use of Artemia as a model organism in aquatic ecotoxicology studies (marine and hypersaline environments), the application of this experience in other marine organisms (fish, molluscs), and the development of physiological biomarkers for the assessment of stress and toxicity in aquatic environments.
The study of Artemia biodiversity, threatened by the invasion of exotic species, and the different biological factors that influence this phenomenon: biological fitness, parasitism, population dynamics.