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.

La genética regula la microbiota de la dorada

Investigadores de los grupos de Nutrigenómica y de Patología de peces del IATS han puesto de relieve cómo la selección genética de la dorada afecta a su microbiota intestinal y a la resistencia a enfermedades.

La composición de la microbiota de familias de doradas seleccionadas por su elevado crecimiento se adaptaba mejor y con menos variaciones a cambios en la dieta que la de doradas seleccionadas por crecimiento bajo. Esta adaptación confirió además una mayor resistencia a la infección de un parásito intestinal.

Estos resultados contribuyen a la mejora en la formulación de piensos sostenibles y los programas de selección génica en acuicultura.

Este trabajo ha sido financiado por el proyecto H2020 AquaIMPACT, el proyecto Nacional Bream-AquaINTECH y el PROGENSA III del programa JACUMAR, y se ha publicado en la revista de Acceso Abierto Microbiome.

Para más información, la delegación del CSIC en la Comunidad Valenciana ha redactado la siguiente nota de prensa.

Paula Simó-Mirabet doctorates

Paula has presented by video-conference during the Covid confinement her PhD Thesis at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. The study entitled “MOLECULAR AND FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS OF SIRTUINS AS METABOLIC MARKERS IN SEABREAM  was conducted at the Institute of Aquaculture Torre de la Sal (IATS) with Dr. Jaume Pérez-Sánchez (Nutrigenómics and Fish Endocrinology group) as  PhD Director.

Congratulations Paula!

Paula has actively participated in National (Mi2-Fish, Progensa III) and European projects (ARRAINA, PerformFish). Paula also collaborated with the IATS Pathology group, and she is co-author of more than 20 peer-reviewed articles. She has more than 10 contributions in International Congress of Fish Nutrition, Physiology and Endocrinology.

Good luck!

The success story of AQUAEXCEL2020 at 2019

The Institute of Aquaculture has participated actively on AQUAEXCEL2020 at 2019.

Researchers of Fish Pathology and Nutrigenomics groups participated on two face to face training courses: Planning and conducting experimental infection trials in fish & Fish nutrition and feeding

Four out of seven Project catalogues presented in the Info Day of EATiP of EAS Berlin 2019 were from IATS-CSIC.

The eighth AQUAEXCEL2020 newsletter has been released. It includes the Transnational Access (TNA) Success Stories section, with a focus on the productive TNA project Disrupting effects of plasticizers in sea bream conducted at IATS-CSIC.

CSIC published four AQUAEXCEL2020 articles of high Scientific impact on 2019:

Perez-Sánchez et al.,2019. Frontiers in Marine Science 6: 760

Peixoto et al., 2019. Scientific Reports 9: 16134

Forner-Piquer et al., International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20:5003

Sitjà-Bobadilla et al., 2019. Parasites & Vectors 12:486.


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 (www.nutrigroup-iats.org) 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 (jaime.perez.sanchez@csic.es) 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”.