EAStalk webinars AquaIMPACTJoin our EAStalk webinar for free on March 15, Tuesday at 14h CET. Four panellists will discuss the topic "Fish and gut microbiota dialogue. Towards standard methods and genetics, nutrition and host transcriptomic interactions".

AquaIMPACT integrates information on fish breeding and nutrition for improving EU’s competitiveness on Atlantic salmon, Rainbow trout, Gilthead seabream, and European seabass aquaculture. To ensure food security, and comply with consumers’ demands for high-quality products with limited environmental impact, the products and services generated through AquaIMPACT will focus on the cost-effective selection and genotyping of traits under commercial conditions. To improve nutrition value, new and essential ingredients and food additives will be developed and provided to the genetically engineered fish. The use of optimized genomic technologies and feed ingredients to produce healthier and more nutritious and resource-efficient fish will promote re-circular bioeconomy, the efficient use of resources, and zero-waste practices in the aquaculture industry.


Ariadna Sitjà-Bobadilla (Moderator Q&A) is the head of the Fish Pathology Group at the Institute of Aquaculture Torre de la Sal (IATS-CSIC, Spain). She has 30 years of research experience in aquaculture and has authored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. Her research focusses on marine parasites affecting farmed fish, with emphasis on fish immune response, pathology, host-parasite relationships, and how they are modulated by dietary interventions and stress. She has coordinated the H2020 EU funded project ParaFishControl.

Jaume Pérez-Sánchez (Introductory presentation and panellist) is the head of the Nutrigenomics and Fish Growth Endocrinology Group at the Institute of Aquaculture Torre de la Sal (IATS-CSIC, Spain) (www.nutritgroup-iats.org). His research is focused on nutrition, welfare and genetic interactions in Mediterranean farmed fish, using integrative omic approaches based on behavioural, genomic, metagenomic and metabolomic tools. He has been the CSIC Research IP in five EU H2020 projects (AQUAEXCEL2020, PERFORMFISH, GAIN, AquaIMPACT, AQUAEXCEL3.0) and authored more than 190 SCI publications (H-index, 47).

Maria Carla Piazzon (Panellist) is a Ramón y Cajal postdoctoral researcher at the Fish Pathology group of the Institute of Aquaculture Torre de la Sal (IATS-CSIC). Her research is focused on mucosal immunology, host-parasite and host-microbiota interactions applying molecular and omics approaches to attain integrative results. She has authored 47 SCI articles (H-index: 16) and has participated in several national and European projects aimed to improve health in aquaculture

Simona Rimoldi (Panellist) is a research assistant at the Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences of the University of Insubria, Italy. She has a degree in Biological Sciences and a PhD in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology. She has a background in molecular biology, nutrigenomic, metagenomic and animal welfare. Since 2006, her interests are focused on welfare and performance issues of the main farmed fish in Europe. She has authored 56 articles and has collaborated with several international research institutes within national and European research projects.

Description of content:
Research in fish gut microbiota dates to the early half of the 20th century, but interest in this area has grown exponentially with the expansion of the aquaculture industry and the advent of Next-generation sequencing (NGS). Bacteria are the predominant organisms in the gut microbiota, and amplicon sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene has proven to be a powerful strategy for the taxonomic classification of gut bacteria. Most of these studies have been conducted using the Illumina MiSeq™ platform, though the use of low cost and portable MiniION nanopore sequencing platform is rapidly gaining adepts.

Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes Actinobacteria and Firmicutes are the most abundant bacteria phyla of fish gut microbiota, but a high variability exists among species and even individuals, and current research is underway using Bayesian networks for inferring new and consistent microbial associations. Diet and developmental stage are widely known modulating factors changing the composition and function of gut microbiota. However, the impact of genetics remains poorly studied, and one the aims of AQUAIMPACT EU project is to determine how the interaction of breeding programs and nutrition determine fish performance and diet utilization through changes in gut microbiota composition and function.

Attention of panellists will be focused on seabream and seabass as the two main Mediterranean farmed fish. As expected, alternative new fish feed formulations have an impact on gut microbiota, but interestingly the microbiota of gilthead sea bream selected for fast growth also showed a higher functional plasticity, which would facilitate the adaptation to changes in diet composition. Gut microbiota is, thereby, being confirmed as an important trait to target in fish breeding programs.

Visit the AquaIMPACT website here.

To join the webinar register here.