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Analysis of the profile of bacterial communities associated with mucus as a traceability method for seahorses

Grant number: 15/18050-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 21, 2015
Effective date (End): December 20, 2016
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Fishery Resources and Fishery Engineering - Aquaculture
Principal researcher:Wagner Cotroni Valenti
Grantee:Felipe Pereira de Almeida Cohen
Supervisor abroad: Ricardo Jorge Guerra Calado
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB-CLP). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus Experimental do Litoral Paulista. São Vicente , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidade de Aveiro (UA), Portugal  
Associated to the scholarship:13/22260-4 - Cultivation of seahorse in cages as commercial alternative to coastal communities with low-income, BP.DR


This project aims to test the hypothesis that the method of the profile of bacterial communities associated with the skin mucus of seahorses can be used as a tool for traceability. The industry of marine ornamental animals has grown in an uncontrolled and unsustainable way. The main cause is the large number of illegal, unregistered and unregulated fishing practices. There is practically no control over the national trade of seahorses in Brazil. This is mainly due to the lack of reliable tools to trace the origin of the animals, preventing an effective regulation of the indutry. In this scenario, certification and traceability emerge as important tools to shift the industry of ornamental animals in favor of sustainability. The method of the profile of bacterial communities associated with the skin mucus is one of the most promising for tracing marine ornamental animals. It is essential to study its advantages and limitations. Therefore, it will be collected mucus of the seahorse (Hippocampus reidi) from different regions, and between animals of the same region at different times. It will be assessed if the method is able to determine the source of collection of the seahorses, and if the bacterial community associated with the mucus of seahorses suffers any natural or induced change over time. After collecting the mucus, DNA will be extracted and the V3 variable region of 16S rDNA of the bacterial genome will be amplified by a polymerase chain reaction. The amplified DNA will be lyophilized and then it will be later analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DDGE) and sequencing.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
COHEN, FELIPE P. A.; VALENTI, WAGNER C.; PLANAS, MIQUEL; CALADO, RICARDO. Seahorse Aquaculture, Biology and Conservation: Knowledge Gaps and Research Opportunities. REVIEWS IN FISHERIES SCIENCE & AQUACULTURE, v. 25, n. 1, p. 100-111, . (15/18050-0)
COHEN, FELIPE P. A.; PLANAS, MIQUEL; VALENTI, WAGNER C.; LILLEBO, ANA; CALADO, RICARDO. Optimizing packing of live seahorses for shipping. Aquaculture, v. 482, p. 57-64, . (15/18050-0, 13/22260-4)
COHEN, FELIPE P. A.; PIMENTEL, TANIA; VALENTI, WAGNER C.; CALADO, RICARDO. First insights on the bacterial fingerprints of live seahorse skin mucus and its relevance for traceability. Aquaculture, v. 492, p. 259-264, . (15/18050-0, 13/22260-4)

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