"The overarching aim of the project is to establish a cause-effect relationship among the mitochondrial processes related to ageing in fish (mitochondrial membrane composition, lipid metabolism, ROS production, antioxidant activities, mitochondrial DNA expression), which will advance our understanding of these mechanisms in ectotherms in order to develop a vertebrate model of ageing. The project will require a multi-disciplinary approach utilising molecular biology and biochemistry. Techniques include subcellular fractionation to obtain the mitochondrial fraction, lipid analyses including thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and gas-chromatography (GC) for phospholipid and fatty acid analysis, biochemical assays to assess peroxidation processes, and molecular analyses including PCR cloning of mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) cDNAs and gene expression studies to determine tissue distribution and effects of aging using quantitative real-time PCR.
The host institution will be the Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) at University of Stirling (Scotland, United Kingdom), a dedicated research Institute with an International reputation in research and post-graduate teaching. The work in the proposed project falls within the remit of the Molecular Nutrition Group at the IoA, a world-leading group in fish lipid and fatty acid metabolism, nutrition and molecular biology.
The proposed research project fits very well within the objectives of FP7 of the European Community. The project is part of research efforts that impact on human health through addressing the important issue of the establishment of a vertebrate model of ageing, which would shorten the phylogenetic distance respecting model and the human species. However, the project is also highly relevant to Theme 2 (Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Biotechnology). This project will help us to consider new aspects in the fish farming and to improve the efficiency of Aquaculture activities and fish welfare."
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