TNA Success Stories: Microbiome studies in gilthead sea bream

The second e-newsletter of the European Project AQUAEXCEL3.0 has been recently released, and it highlights the contribution of the microbiome analysis platform of IATS infrastructure in the form of successful TNA works.

This platform has shown to be a reliable approach for assessment of fish health and welfare in a wide range of experimental models and processes of interest for potential AQUAEXCEL3.0 TNA users.

The TNA program of AQUAEXCEL3.0 allows external researchers to access the partners’ facilities for conduction of experiments and analysis. IATS-CSIC analytical and experimental facilities are offered to interested partners. More details about applications can be found here.

Two IATS researchers on the World’s Top 2% Scientists 2022 ranking

The latest update of the Stanford University list that ranks the 2% of the most influential researchers in the world (World’s Top 2% Scientists 2022) includes two researchers from our Institute. They are Professors Ariadna Sitjà-Bobadilla, from the Pathology group, and Jaume Pérez-Sánchez, from the Nutrigenomics group.

This list is based on information compiled in the Scopus database, which includes more than 8 million active scientists in the world from all disciplines. Its classification system includes not only the number of publications, but also the co-authorship level and the number of publication citations.

Other active CSIC researchers working in the field of aquaculture also ranked on this list, such as Professor Francesc Piferrer (ICM), Professors Antonio Figueras and Beatriz Novoa (IIM) and Professor Manuel Yúfera (ICMAN).

Congratulations to all!

AECID activity on precision aquaculture

The online activity “Precision aquaculture: how to improve production through the nutrition and health of farmed species” took place from October 24 to November 3. This is one of the five courses promoted by the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID) within the framework of the INTERCOONECTA Plan for Knowledge Transfer, Exchange and Management for the Development of Spanish Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean, and it has been aimed at technical and managerial staff of public administrations, researchers, academics and university professors linked to the aquaculture sector. The programming of the courses has been coordinated from CSIC by Francesc Piferrer, from the Institute of Marine Sciences of Barcelona. The academic coordination of this activity has been carried out by Professor Jaume Pérez Sánchez, from the IATS Nutrigenomics group.

The course was attended by students of 17 nationalities from Latin America and the Caribbean. The different presentations on nutrition, monitoring and health in aquaculture were given by 24 speakers of 6 nationalities, belonging to CSIC centers (IATS, 10 speakers; IIM, 3; IATA, 1), universities (Universidad Miguel Hernández, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Universidad Austral de Chile, Universidad de la Sabana de Colombia) and aquaculture-related enterprises (Avramar, Bioflytech, Evonik, Sparos, Ingesom).

6th International Symposium on Genomics in Aquaculture

Researchers and students of Nutrigenomics and Fish Pathology groups of IATS have attended the 6th International Symposium on Genomics in Aquaculture, held in Granada (May 4-6). They have participated in three oral communications.

Beatriz Soriano presented SAMBA (Scanning Aquaculture Microbiome via Bayesian Approach), an application based on Bayesian networks intended to predict changes in the composition and function of mucosal microbiome in farmed fish, correlating microbial architectures with a number of biotic and abiotic factors. SAMBA also permits to interrogate the model to identify which experimental conditions are optimal for obtaining a given pan-microbiome and associated metagenome. This application will be implemented to be accessible as a web server at this site.


Fernando Naya-Català talked about the interaction of the genetic background and dietary intervention through feed additives, driving reshaping of gut microbiome in gilthead sea bream. Experimental diets oil-coated with organic acids, Bacillus-species probiotics or natural plant extracts were tested in fish selected and unselected for growth. It was demonstrated that genetics and diet interaction on gut microbiota was specific for each additive, being gut microbiota less variable in selected fish.


Socorro Toxqui Rodríguez showed the validation of Oxford Nanopore minION technology as a fast and low-cost tool for the profiling of mucosal sea bream microbiota. This technology was compared with 16S amplicon data generated by other established techniques such as MiSeq and PacBio. Her presented results provided precise insights into the advantages and disadvantages of this specific sequencing platform, and their suitability depending on the experimental approach, expected output, and cost and time constraints of a given experiment.

XIII Workshop de la Sociedad Española de Microbiota, Probióticos y Prebióticos

Prof. Jaume Pérez-Sánchez was invited by the Spanish Society of Microbiome, Probiotics and Prebiotics to give a conference at their XIII Workshop, held in Valencia (June 7-9). His talk was focused on the latest group results in National and European Projects, regarding the interplay of mucosal microbiome composition of farmed fish with culture conditions, nutrition and gentic background. The presentation is available for download here.

Gut microbiota and host transcriptome interaction for adaptation of fish to fish meal-free diets

Researchers of IATS Nutrigenomics and Fish Pathology groups, in collaboration with enterprises Sparos (Portugal) and Adisseo (Portugal) have recently reported in Aquaculture the notable results achieved in terms of growth and sanitary status of gilthead sea bream fed fish meal devoid diets, based on principles of circularity and resource utilization in the framework of EU GAIN project.

The new diet formulation was able to support optimal growth, and the suspceptibility to experimental infection with the intestinal myxozoan parasite Enteromyxum leei was not altered by diet. The fish adapted to this new diet formulation through changes in gene expression and gut bacterial composition. Moreover, it was shown that intestinal microbiota and host gene expression were correlated, evidencing that they can interact not only locally but also at a systemic level.

This work remarks the contribution of GAIN-derived feed formulations to sustainable aquaculture. The aquaculture-related site has published a press note (in spanish).

Aquaculture Europe magazine

Following the last European Aquaculture Society (EAS) talk webinar, highlights from gut microbiota work conducted in gilthead sea bream and European sea bass in the AquaIMPACT project are available as the feature article of the March 2022 issue of Aquaculture Europe magazine. The magazine pdf can be downloaded by EAS members.

AquaIMPACT EASTalk webinar: Fish and gut microbiota dialogue (video available)

La Sociedad Europea de Acuicultura (EAS) ha celebrado un nuevo seminario web dentro de la serie EASTalk. El seminario centrado en los resultados  del Proyecto Europeo AquaIMPACT ha servido para poner poner de manifiesto la estrecha comunicación de los peces en cultivo con su microbiota intestinal.

AquaIMPACT integra información de los efectos de la  nutrición y selección genética  sobre la composición y actividad de la microbiota intestinal, y uno de los objetivos del proyecto es utilizar medidas de la composición y actividad de esta microbiota para evaluar el impacto de las soluciones propuestas por AquaIMPACT para producir animales sanos y altamente nutritivos.

El seminario se ha organizado en tres charlas de 10-15 minutos, seguidas de una sesion de preguntas y respuestas muy activa dado el alto número de asistentes registrados (más de 360). La sesión ha sido moderada por la Prof  Ariadna Sitjà-Bobadilla del Instituto de Acuicutura Torre la Sal (IATS-CSIC) y ha contado con la participación como panelistas del Prof. Jaume Pérez-Sánchez y de la Dra Carla Piazzon de los grupos de Nutrigenómica y de Patología de Peces del IATS, así como de la Dra Simona Rimoldi de la Universidad de Insubria.

El video con el seminario web está disponible aquí y en el canal de Youtube de la EAS.

Approval of PERTE Agroalimentario Project

Government of Spain approves the “PERTE Agroalimentario” Project, which will generate hopefully up to 16,000 jobs, 5,400 in the Valencian Community.

The presentation ceremony of the PERTE Agro Valencian Project was held at the Palau de la Generalitat las March 1st, and it was attended by the President of the Generalitat and the Counselor of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition.

The event was also attended by the Autonomous Secretary of Universities and Research, the General Director of Science and Research and the Valencian Coordinators of the R&D&I PROGRAMS IN MARINE SCIENCES AND AGRI-FOOD in the Framework of the Complementary Plans of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

GAIN project milestones in Aquafeed magazine

The first 2022 issue of Aquafeed magazine is focused in the most remarkable advances in alternative ingredients for cultured fish, an includes a technical paper (pages 37-39) summarizing the  main outcomes of European GAIN Project on the use of eco-efficient aquafeeds using emergent ingrediente. It focuses on trials conducted in salmon, gilthead sea bream, rainbow trout and turbot. Giltheam sea bream results are derived of the participation of IATS Nutrigenomics and Fish Pathology groups in the Project. Aquafeed can be consulted here, and the technical paper is available here.