PUCV researchers awarded Conicyt project for Genomics and Fish Immunology

PUCV researchers awarded Conicyt project for Genomics and Fish Immunology

Initiative seeks to generate networks and strengthen links for research in genomics and fish immunology between the two countries (Aquaculture World).

"Genomics of Coinfection of Pathogens in Salmonid Fish" is called the project awarded by the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso (PUCV), in the Competition Support for Cooperation in Research Chile-Sweden 2018.

This is the first joint call between the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) and the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT), which seeks to generate networks and strengthen links between the scientific communities of the two countries.

The collaborative project was presented by the Chilean group headed by Professor Dr. José Gallardo, geneticist of the School of Marine Sciences, and has the collaboration of Professor Dr. Luis Luis

Mercado, fish immunologist of the Institute of Biology, and postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Carolina Figueroa, of the School of Marine Sciences, who was instrumental in the formulation of the proposal.

Meanwhile, the Swedish group is led by the academic and researcher, Dr. Anti Vasem-gi of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), who stands out internationally for his research in evolutionary biology, genomics and fish genetics, currently being associate editor of the journals Evolutionary Ecology and Conservation Genetics.

In addition, the Swedish group is composed of Dr. Mikhail Ozerov, postdoctoral researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.


The proposal, which will be funded by CONICYT and STINT, will be developed between 2019 and 2022 and as main activities includes collaborative research in the field of fish genetics, genomics and immunology, as well as in the link with society by organizing industry seminars and postgraduate courses. It also includes a robust stay programme of Swedish researchers and postgraduate thesists in Chile and Chileans in Sweden.

The proposal arises from the impact of pathogens on different wild and farmed populations and particularly the increase in reports of natural pathogen co-infections, whose consequences for fish health have been little Studied.

On this subject, dr Gallardo explains: "We have shown that there is inheritable genetic variation for resistance to co-infection in Atlantic salmon. In addition, we recently demonstrated that when farmed salmon has multiple infections, the effectiveness of vaccines can decrease dramatically." The academic stated that the development of this project will strengthen the use of the first supercomputer of the PUCV, installed in Valparaiso, as part of FONDEQUIP's OCEAN project.

Dr. Mercado said: "Our group has the experience to characterize at the cellular and molecular level the immune responsiveness of salmonid fish. We have recently done so at the population level in fish grown at sea, so we have data and the possibility of evaluating new molecular markers in collaboration with the Swedish group." For its part, the high experience in fish genomics of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) will advance the understanding of the impact of co-infection on fish health by comparing wild fish with farmed fish.

"Our research groups adequately complement knowledge and experience in bacterial and parasitic diseases relevant to wild and farmed salmon," Gallardo said.

In this sense, he explained that "we proposed a multidisciplinary approach that integrates genetic improvement, genomics and immunology to improve our compression of host-pathogen interaction in salmonids." For the above: "our proposal promotes research on pathogens and pathogen pests in animals, with an impact on the preservation of fisheries in Sweden and on the sustainability of aquaculture in Chile," he said.

Source: www.mundoacuicola.cl