Summer School: “Advances in fish aquaculture and microalgae biotechnology”

El Puerto de Santa María (Spain), 17-21th September 2018.

Microalgae as a source of bioactive compounds to improve the fish health in aquaculture


C. Carballo. e-mail:

Centro IFAPA El Toruño, Junta de Andalucía, Camino Tiro Pichón s/n, 11500 El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz



Aquaculture is the food production sector with faster growing, reaching over fishing in total production recently. Nevertheless, the development of intensive aquaculture needs maintenance of fish health. Aquaculture needs new strategies to control fish health, such as immunostimulants to fight against pathogen.

Recently, there has been an interest in the search for new bioproducts of marine origin, and, in this sense, microalgae are a promising source of high-value products-richness in bioactive compounds that could have application for improve the fish health. In algae for aquaculture and beauty project, we tested an extract from the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. In order to characterize the antioxidant capacity, three different tests (ORAC, FRAP and DPPH scavenging activity) were carried out and the activity compared with commercial yeast β-glucans. Furthermore, cytotoxicity test in human dermal fibroblasts showed a reduction of cellular viability at higher concentration than 0.1%, while these effects only occur at 1% for yeast β-glucans. A panel of genes related to immune system were studied by RT-qPCR, showing an immunomodulatory effect linked to such extract revealing a possible use of this microalgae extract suitable for immunostimulation in aquaculture.


Acknowledgements: This study has received funds from Programa Operativo FEDER de Andalucía 2014-2020, Project EI.AVA.AVA201601.9 “Nuevas herramientas genómicas para el análisis genetico y evaluacion transcriptomica de compuestos funcionales basados en microalgas para impulsar la acuicultura del lenguado (SOLEALGAE)” and H2020 MSCA-RISE project 691102 (Algae4A&B)