Dr. Roxana González Stegmeier and Dr. René Manriquez Vásquez will be responsible for performing the relevant studies in the bacterium Piscirickettsia salmonis and the infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNv). The project of Dr. Gonzalez-Stegmeier is entitled “Biotechnological application of flagellin and derived peptides as adjuvant and immunostimulant in S. salar during immunization and infection with P. salmonis”. This project is part of the research lines of the Laboratory of Fish Molecular Biology of the Biochemistry and Microbiology Institute of the Universidad Austral de Chile. This project will complement two current studies; FONDECYT 1130069, which in its fourth year is performing a genomic analysis of strains of P. salmonis, and FONDAP project 15110027 of the INCAR Center, which studies current and emergent pathogens that affect aquiculture activities in Chile. Dr. Gonzalez expects the results of her project to demonstrate the use of flagellin as immunostimulant and adjuvant to improve the sanitary status of mass-farmed fish and contribute to a decrease in the use of antibiotics in the salmon industry.
The project of Dr. Rene Manriquez Vásquez, entitled “Epigenome of the infection with the infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNv) in the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar): Identification of epigenetic markers for the development of therapeutic targets”, intends to generate the first methyloma database in salmonids in different stages of smolting; it is sponsored by INCAR researcher Dr. Alejandro Yáñez. This will allow detection of the changes in the methyloma due to IPNv infection. Discovering the key epigenetic markers during the infection process should allow the identification of therapeutic targets which may be used to improve the response of fish to the infection.
This project will extend the research that Dr. Manriquez performed for his doctorate on epigenetic regulation during infection processes in salmonids. The results of this new project are expected to open new research lines, such as prognosis in the pre-clinical evaluation of vaccines, identifying epigenetic markers of developmental stages (smolt) that would allow “epigenetic programs” to be established according to the farming conditions or the requirements of the producer, among other research areas.
The full text of this article is available in Spanish in the Spanish version of the INCAR Website.