The Laboratory of genetics and applied genomics is a research, innovation and consulting laboratory of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile. Our objective is to increase the competitiveness of Ibero-American aquaculture by developing and promoting the use and application of genetic and genomic technologies.

The research lines of the laboratory are the following:

1.- Selection and domestication of aquatic organisms: In this area we work on the genetic and genomic analysis of traits of economic importance, inbreeding and breeding management, and optimization of genetic improvement programs.

How do we do it: we designed DNA CHIP (SNP array), performed genomic association studies (GWAS, Genome-wide association study) using Illumina’s BeadChip array and Thermofisher’s Axiom Genotyping Arrays (Ex – Affymetrix’s GeneChip arrays). We also perform Whole genome sequencing (WGS) studies, analysis of population genetic diversity and structure, and reproductive genomic selection.

2.- Genetic resistance to fish pathogens: In this area we are interested in evaluating different quantitative traits of resistance and tolerance to pathogens. Furthermore, we are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that explain this defensive response of the hosts against their pathogens.

How do we do it: we perform challenges of controlled pathogen infection, survival studies, vaccine efficacy evaluation, and global gene expression analysis (RNAseq, RNA Sequencing). Further, we regularly use classical recombinant DNA technologies and explore new technologies such as epigenetics and genomic editing.

Consulting services

Aquaculture production decisions must be based on evidence, but sometimes it is not clear how to design and evaluate the performance of new biotechnologies like QTLs, biomarkers, vaccines, additives or immunostimulants. Further, data wrangling and biostatistical analysis are challenging for companies because they do not have specialized personnel. Thus, we can help you interpret and understand what you need to know. 

International grants

PCI Chile – Sweden NºCS2018 -7993. Genomics of Coinfection of Pathogens in Salmonid Fish. 2019-2022. Principal investigator (PI).

OCDE CO-OPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMME. Disease Resistance in Atlantic salmon: Analysis of immune responses to coinfection of the sea lice Caligus rogercresseyi and the bacteria Piscirickettsia salmonis using RNAseq technology (2015). Principal investigator (PI).

CYTED Nº 111RT0420. Ibero-american network of genetics and immunology to control pathogens in aquaculture. (2011-2014). Principal investigator (PI).

National  grants

Proyecto FONDEQUIP (EQM170214). OCEANO: Plataforma de Alto desempeño computacional para la sostenibilidad de los ecosistemas acuáticos y sus recursos. (2017-2019). Principal investigator (PI).

Proyecto FONDECYT POSTDOCTORADO (3170744). Disease Resistance in Atlantic Salmon: Understanding mechanisms that explain resistance and tolerance to co-infection of the Sea Lice Caligus rogercresseyi and the bacteria Piscirickettsia salmonis. (2017-2019). Patrocinante.

FONDECYT. Disease Resistance in Salmonids: Genetic analysis of co-infection of the Sea Lice Caligus rogercresseyi and the bacteria Piscirickettsia salmonis. (2014-2017). Principal investigator (PI).

FIC-R. Marine Integrated Aquaculture-Agriculture: Innovation for sustainable development of Valparaíso. (2013-2014). Principal investigator (PI).

INNOVA-CORFO. Nº 07CN13PBT-61. Development of a new methodology for the identification and selection of salmonids genetically resistant to the ectoparasite Caligus rogercresseyi. Principal investigator (PI).

INNOVA-CORFO. Nº 206-5047. Business consortium of genetics and biotechnology development for the salmon industry. Coinvestigator.

University grants

PUCV. Nº 037.472/2013. Generation of a marker-assisted selection related to sex in Atlantic salmon. Principal investigator (PI).

PUCV Nº02/2013. Study of patentability «Method for identifying and selecting fish resistant / susceptible to parasites of fish. Principal investigator (PI).

PUCV 037.358/2011. Generation of antibodies for detection, quantification and regulation of molecular markers in aquaculture production Systems. Coinvestigator.

PUCV 037.101/2008. Biotechnology applied to the development of oral vaccines for salmon. Coinvestigator.

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