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Molecular biology and fish welfare: a winning combination
Gornati, R.; Gualdoni, S.; Cavaliere, R.; Terova, G.; Saroglia, M.; Bernardini, G. (2005). Molecular biology and fish welfare: a winning combination, in: Focardi, S. et al. (Ed.) Animal welfare, human health and interactions with the environment. Aquaculture International, 13(1-2): pp. 51-55
In: Focardi, S.; Saroglia, M. (Ed.) (2005). Animal welfare, human health and interactions with the environment. Aquaculture International, 13(1-2). Springer: Dordrecht, The Netherlands. 173 pp., more
In: Aquaculture International. Springer: London. ISSN 0967-6120, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Aquaculture; Biomarkers; Biotechnology; Fish handling; Marine
Author keywords
    biotechnology; biomarker; fish welfare; aquaculture

Authors  Top 
  • Gornati, R.
  • Gualdoni, S.
  • Cavaliere, R.
  • Terova, G.
  • Saroglia, M.
  • Bernardini, G.

    The issue of animal welfare in aquaculture is of growing interest and there is an increasing consumer demand for documentation of safe and ethically defendable food production. In this context, we have looked for molecular markers among those genes whose expression is modified by the different farming conditions. We have compared gene expression of sea bass farmed at different population densities by differential display, and we have obtained six bands differentially expressed whose sequences have been deposited in the public databases; two of them were suppressed by high population density, while four were induced by the treatment. These genes can be used as biomarkers, and together with a panel of stress-related genes of sea bass (D. labrax) that we have already obtained, could allow the rapid diagnosis of the welfare status of a fish using RT-PCR. We are certain that the new molecular techniques will find their place in the everyday management of fish farming. On the other hand, we are also aware that the scarcity of genomic resources for some fish species, in spite of their economical interest, will retard the beneficial effects that modern biotechnology could bring to aquaculture industry. Therefore, an effort should be made to reduce, as far genomic resources are concerned, the gap that separates farmed species from model organisms such as Danio rerio and Fugu rubripes.

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