Authorities from Ifapa and the University of Cadiz, together with researchers from the Aquagenet Project. (Photo: Junta de Andalucía)
Biotechnological techniques to be used to investigate aquatic species
Friday, March 25, 2011, 23:00 (GMT + 9)
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of Andalusia, through the Research and Training Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries (Ifapa), will lead a European project called Aquagenet, with the main objective of applying new biotechnology techniques to seven aquatic species of great commercial interest: sole, sea bream, sea bass, oysters, mussels and clams.
The initiative is part of the Territorial Cooperation Programme of the Southwestern European Area (Sudoe), which supports regional development through transnational co-financing projects with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Aquagenet is a project with a total budget of EUR 2 million, of which EUR 850,000 was contributed by Ifapa. One of the six partners involved in the European initiative is the University of Cádiz.
According to the President of Ifapa, Javier de las Nieves, it is important to work on research and transfer projects in strategic sectors in Andalusia, such as aquaculture.
For its part, the chancellor of the University of Cádiz, Diego Sales, explained that the data obtained will certainly be of great importance for the aquaculture industry.
In addition, information collected will be attached to a communication plan that includes a dissemination of results, technology transfer and training.
Those invloved in Aquagenet also aim to:
- Develop techniques for next generation sequencing (NGS), in order to produce new genomic resources of commercially important species;
- Create a transnational network for cooperation in biotechnology for aquaculture.
With regards to the fish, the researchers will design vaccines to combat pathogens in sole, while in relation to shellfish, advances in population studies and species identification will help to preserve and properly manage the resources and make management more coordinated with the struggle with disease, states a press release by Ifapa.
De las Nieves explained that Aquagenet will "provide new information which will be useful in contributing to sustainable aquaculture that meets the standards of health, welfare and safety required in animal production."
Other participants in this project are the University of Barcelona, the Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) and the Institute of Sciences of Evolution of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), both of France, as well as the Biological Resources Institute (WPI) of Portugal.
By Analia Murias