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

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

Larval reprogramming: a step forward


Deborah M Power. e-mail:

1. Comparative Endocrinology and Integrative Biology, Centre of Marine Sciences, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal

2. Key Laboratory of Exploration and Utilization of Aquatic Genetic Resources, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, China



Sustainable increased production for aquaculture is a pressing need to meet the strategic objectives for the 21st century. Steps have been made in recent years at the level of technology, husbandry and feeds to stimulate increased production. One emerging approach that is gaining traction is the use of imprinting strategies in eggs and larvae to improve production traits in the juveniles and adults. Imprinting approaches cause their effect by modifying the epigenome, which involves chromosome-bound, heritable changes in gene expression without changing the DNA sequence. During the presentation basic concepts about epigenetic mechanisms that modify the DNA will be considered along with their transgenerational persistence. New notions about “readers”, “writers” and “erasers” and emerging drugs that can be used to manipulate the epigenome will be outlined (Biswas & Rao, 2018). The potential of epigenetics for aquaculture will be put in context, highlighting the potential means by which the epigenome can be modified. A number of nutritional studies have already been performed and the reported impact on genotype will be summarised. A case study will be briefly presented from some of the authors own work using temperature imprinting on the sea bream embryos and larvae and assessing how these impacts on the stress response in 9-month old adult fish.


Acknowledgements: The research leading to these results has received European Funds from H2020 MSCA-RISE project 691102 (Algae4A&B) and EU-FP7 project 222719 (Lifecycle) and a CCMAR project grant CCMAR/Multi/ 04326/2013 from Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).