03 Oct Ricardo Domingo, ThinkInAzul researcher, wins the “Student Spotlight Award” for his research on microbiota as a marker of heat stress in sea bream.
Ricardo Domingo Bretón, researcher at ThinkInAzul, has won the Student Spotlight Award granted by the European Aquaculture Society (EAS) at the Aquaculture Europe 23 (AE23WIEN) held from September 18 to 21 in Vienna. The paper Gilthead sea bream microbiota shifts associated with thermal stress and dietary intervention during a record heat summer won first place after being chosen by popular vote. Attendees at the opening session of the congress selected the presentation they found most appealing through a mobile application.
The 3 finalist papers were initially chosen by an EAS committee from the 143 abstracts submitted by students to the conference. The Student Spotlight Award aims to highlight the talent of young European researchers in the field of aquaculture. The finalists, had the opportunity to present their application in a reduced time of three minutes during the opening session of the AE23WIEN. In addition to Ricardo’s work, Marina Pampín, (University of Santiago de Compostela) with her proposal Identification and validation of genetic markers associated with marteilia cochillia resilience in the common cockle (Cerastoderma edule) and Daniela Resende (University of Porto) with Dietary inclusion of sardine cooking waters: impact on appetite regulation, growth and sensory properties of european seabass.
Ricardo Domingo is a member of the Nutrigenomics and Endocrinology of Fish Growth group at the Torre de la Sal Aquaculture Institute (IATS), a center belonging to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). In addition to the participation of the Nutrigenomics group of the IATS, the work had the collaboration of the company Nukamel, through the Transational Access (TNA) program of the European project AQUAEXCEL3.0, with additional support from the ThinkInAzul project of the Comunitat Valenciana.
This work tested the effect on the intestinal microbiota in sea bream of the inclusion of a commercial emulsifier (Volamel Aqua, Nukamel), in combination with different levels of lipids in the diet, coinciding with the exceptional peak of temperature in the water during the summer of 2022 on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.
In this context, gut microbiota was revealed as a strong marker of heat stress. In particular, the genus Brevinema significantly increased its abundance in fish exposed to high temperatures, displacing the microbiota normally found in sea bream. Inclusion of the commercial emulsifier, both independently and in combination with reduced dietary lipid levels, reduced this dysbiosis in the microbiota caused by high temperatures. At the same time, blood markers of stress, such as glucose and cortisol, decreased their levels following exactly the same pattern, mimicking the decrease in Brevinema abundances.
This finding opens the door to the use of microbiota, in particular the genus Brevinema, as a marker of heat stress, which could be very useful to evaluate the effectiveness of future strategies aimed at mitigating the effects of heat stress in sea bream, a particularly relevant aspect in a context of climate crisis.