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Biotechnological applications of fish germ cells for reproductive management in Aquaculture


"Recently germ cells biotechnology opened a new research line in aquaculture and in the conservation of genetic resources. Spermatogonia transplantation into a host species has been a valuable tool for studying processes related to spermatogenesis and is currently a powerful tool for assisted reproductive strategies. This technique represents an interesting alterative for the reproduction of Senegalese sole and meagre, two important commercial species for European aquaculture diversification. This proposal aims to enhance the production of these species, by overcoming a fundamental constraint, the capacity to successfully control reproduction in captivity. This will be accomplished by three main objectives: i) Development of molecular tools to analyse and modulate cryopreserved germ cells; ii) Development of methods to cryopreserve undifferentiated germ cells; iii) Development of reproductive strategies to create surrogate broodstocks using cryopreserved germ cells. To accomplish these objectives, Zinc/Selenium antioxidant system as well as the roles of apoptotic genes from the Bcl-2 family will be characterized in germ cells. These antioxidants were chosen due to their high capacity in protecting germ cells against reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by cryopreservation. In vivo experiments on Zn and Se requirements will allow the formulation of specific diets to improve germ cell quality and protect cells from ROS-induced apoptosis. This part of the proposal is extremely innovative since an evaluation of germ cell quality in terms of molecular “resistance” as never been attempted. These molecular markers will allow the analysis of cryopreservation of testicular cells, establishing guidelines for the improvement of germ cell quality and determining the success of cryopreserved germ cell transplantation into host species. Transplantation of meagre and Senegalese sole spermatogonia into host species might be the solution for tackling their reproductive constraints."

Call for proposal

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Universidade Do Algarve
8005 032 Faro

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Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Adelino Canario (Prof.)
EU contribution
€ 202 630