The CREATEC-CV project on the search for new fish probiotics has been completed

After nearly a year working on the CREATEC-CV project, it has come to an end and we are very excited about the results obtained! This program, funded by IVACE and co-financed with FEDER funds, aims to promote innovative technology-based entrepreneurship, business diversification, economic growth, and the creation of quality jobs within the business fabric of the Valencian Community, supporting the development of small, innovative, technology-based companies.


Fish is considered an especially important food due to its high protein content and essential nutrients such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins. The increase in global demand for this food implies the need for sustainable development in the aquaculture industry. For this purpose, the development of diets that include probiotic supplements has great potential and contributes to reducing the use of antibiotics in this sector. Probiotics are live dietary supplements that have positive effects on health, such as improving the digestive process or stimulating the immune system. Additionally, many probiotics have the ability to inhibit the growth of certain pathogenic microorganisms that cause infectious diseases, which are the main cause of economic losses in aquaculture.


Another challenge posed by the increased demand for these foods is the need to produce a greater quantity of raw materials for fish feed. One of the proposed solutions to this problem is the use of agricultural by-products as a source of protein for fish feed, but their digestion can result in the generation of toxic metabolites. An example is saponin, which can cause intestinal enteritis in fish.


The goal of our CREATEC-CV project has been to contribute to solving these challenges by selecting and characterizing probiotic strains for fish from the massive screening of DARWIN’s own microorganism collection. Specifically, the tasks carried out in the project have been:


    1. Screening our collection to select strains suitable for use in fish farms (capable of growing in the corresponding temperature and salinity conditions), capable of surviving bile and the pH conditions of the intestines of target fish (trout, salmon, and sea bass), and with the ability to degrade saponin.
    2. Massive screening to detect strains that inhibit the growth of selected pathogenic microorganisms (Tenacibaculum maritimum, Yersinia ruckeri, Aeromonas salmonicida, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Vagococcus salmoninarum and Vibrio harveyi) using a co-culture strategy in multi-well plates.
    3. Studying co-culture interactions between selected probiotic strains to guide the formulation of the final product and avoid undesirable interactions.
    4. Producing a small lyophilized batch of the selected probiotics for subsequent use in in vivo tests.
    5. Characterizing the microbiota inhabiting international fish farms through massive sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene.


This project has allowed us to select several microorganisms with great potential for use as fish probiotics. Contact us if you want more information!