Nutritional epigenetic programming of gut mucosal health in first-feeding fish

    Project: EU research project

    Project Details


    The growing world population, combined with over-exploited fisheries, indicates that by the year 2030 aquaculture should provide 70% of the fish protein required for human consumption. The potential of early life programming of fish health, by diet-induced changes, could be an important step towards better health management in aquaculture and to promote the need for intensification. The aim of Reprogram is to epigenetically program fish health during the critical early life window to maintain broad immune competence. Evidence suggests that the effect of certain nutrients on the intestinal microbiota can induce epigenetic reprogramming of innate immune cells with long-term positive effects on health. Early epigenetic nutritional programming by butyrate, will be evaluated in first-feeding stages of Nile tilapia, exploring the potential of this dietary additive to enhance gut mucosal health in a fish species important to aquaculture. The project will integrate research methodology relevant to several disciplines including fish immunology, nutrition and microbiology and employ advanced biological approaches such as a germ-free system, to assess dietary effects on the gut microbiome. Reprogram will familiarise the candidate with state-of-the-art genomic approaches, for transcriptome and epigenome by next-generation sequencing nanopore and chromatin immunoprecipitation technology, and with effects on the fish immune system. Hosting, by both a world-class university and at one of the world’s first certified sequencing providers of Oxford Nanopore Technologies (secondment), will increase the potential of the researcher to reach professional maturity during the fellowship. Dissemination of the project results to a wide audience, including a non-profit organisation relevant to worldwide aquaculture, will complement the already excellent career path of the candidate and facilitate her acquisition of a stable research position in Europe.
    Effective start/end date1/06/2131/05/23


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