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 mispeces.com 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.

Gut microbiome as an important tool for the evaluation of cultured fish performance

The study of the composition of the gilthead sea bream gut microbiome is becoming a relevant item in the “omics” technological offer of IATS Nutrigenomics and Fish Pathology groups. Along 2021, this tool has been of importance to assess the effects of probiotics, feed additives and alternative protein sources in aquaculture feeds. This has resulted in four Open Access publications (1, 2, 3, 4) in the framework of European (GAIN, AQUAEXCEL2020) and national (BreamAquaINTECH) projects. These notable results have been highlighted in a CSIC Valencia delegation press release.


Hypoxia and exercise performance in fish

Researchers from the Nutrigroup of IATS-CSIC have targeted the mild-hypoxia driving force for metabolic and muscle transcriptional reprogramming of gilthead sea bream juveniles, focusing on blood metabolic landmarks and muscle transcriptomics before and after exhaustive exercise. These results after mild-hypoxia conditioning highlighted an increased contribution of lipid metabolism to whole energy supply to preserve the aerobic energy production, a better swimming performance regardless of changes in feed intake, as well as reduced protein turnover and improved anaerobic fitness with the restoration of normoxia.

The results of this work, funded by National (BreamAquaINTECH; RTI2018–094128-B-I00) and European AQUAEXCEL2020 (Aquaculture infrastructures for excellence in European fish research towards 2020; 652831) Projects, have been published in the special issue Transcriptome and Genome Analyses Applied to Aquaculture Research of the open-access Journal Biology (link).

For more information, visit CSIC Comunidad Valenciana delegation webpage.

Insect larvae meal as a sustainable feed ingredient in aquaculture

A recent collaboration between IATS Nutrigenomics group and CIIMAR from Porto University (Portugal) has highlighted the feasibility of high replacement of fish meal in aquaculture diets with insect-derived meal.

The effect of fish meal replacement by defatted mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) larvae meal in European sea bass aquafeeds was tested, evidencing that it was possible to replace up to 80% of fish meal by insect meal without impairing growth performance, nutrients digestibility and fillet quality.

These results are of special importance for the growing need of environmentally sustainable alternatives to fish meal in aquaculture.

The work has been partly funded by a transnational access (TNA) of H2020 project AQUAEXCEL2020 at IATS infrastructures. It was selected as a relevant output in the Info Day of EATiP at Aquaculture Europe 2019 in Berlin, and it has been recently published in the Open Access journal Frontiers in Physiology.