Improving aquaculture sustainability by modulating the feed-microbiome-host axis in Fish

The ImprovAFish project takes a transdisciplinary approach to address critical knowledge gaps related to the feed-microbe-host-axis in Atlantic salmon aquaculture production.

This project consists of two sister projects. Please note that two ImprovAFish projects have been funded by NFR – this ERA-NET project and its sister project under the HAVBRUK programme, also called ImprovAFish. Both projects will be implemented under the ERA-NET project. More information to follow shortly. 

The AFI team is responsible for WP 8, the RRI WP. AFI will facilitate mutual learning between the ImprovAFish consortium, industry and societal stakeholders and support the co-creation of a social licence to operate.

Specific methods include: 

Primary objectives (PO)

PO1: To decipher how the fish diet, the fish genome, the intestinal microbial (meta) genomes and their inherent metabolic processes are holistically connected

PO2: Examine the response of the 'holobiont' (i.e. fish and microbes) to pre-biotic fiber and test if we can exploit these connections to improve the fish growth and health

PO3: Facilitate the implementation of the project in a socially responsible manner via a commitment to excellent science underpinned and reinforced through Responsible Research and Innovation tasks and priorities

Our approach is to jointly analyze how diet affects the metabolic function of the host and its microbiome as a single unit of action, using a novel and powerful framework called 'holo-omics'. This entails monitoring how changes in enzymes and metabolites produced by microbiota, correlates with uptake and metabolism of nutrients in the gut and liver of the fish.

By doing this across life stages, different feeds and with recordings of key performance indices, we aim to identify exploitable interactions between specific feed components and microbiome functions that can be used to improve fish phenotype. In addition, associations between broodstock genetic variation, microbiome composition and diet will be determined, which will facilitate selection for fish with preferred gut microbiota.

Ultimately ImprovAFish will facilitate optimization of improved and sustainable feeding strategies that are specifically tailored to host genetics (or vice versa), with an emphasis on socially responsible outcomes facilitated by a dedicated Responsible Research and Innovation process.

AFI is responsible for the work on RRI throughout the project.

  • Participants at OsloMet

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