Universidad de Santiago de Compostela

USC is an abbreviation of Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. As one of the academic institutions with the longest history in Spain celebrated its 5th Centenary in 1995. USC is a public institution with legal entity and own patrimony. The Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología of the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIQUS)-Facultad de Biología is responsible for investigations on the pathology of fish and shellfish, including clam and oyster. since about 1990. The department is also involved in research on prevention of mollusc diseases through the use of probiotics. These research areas are strongly related to the objectives of present project.

The Department has been involved in cooperative projects with other laboratories in Galicia, Spain and Europe, as well as with the local aquaculture industry. The department also does advisory work for different public and private institutions, including the Regional Ministries of Fish and Aquaculture and different companies within the aquaculture industry, international commissions, etc. The results of the research of the USC group are not only reflected by the scientific papers published but also by a number of applications being transferred to the aquaculture industry in the form of vaccines and analytical procedures (some of them patented), which have been helpful for the development of the sector.

Tasks attributed

USC iparticipates in WP3 and WP5, concerning larval and seed development, as well as in WP4 on metamorphosis. Microbiota associated with larval and seed rearing of clam and scallop will be characterized by molecular methods and monitored in different treatments and rearing methods (closed system, recirculating system..). For the development of some experiments (i.e. to test probiotics in a rearing situation) and to obtain necessary clam seed, USC is subcontracting the research team managed by Dr. Dorotea Martínez at the Centro de Investigaciones Marinas (CIMA) in Ribadeo (Galicia), which includes a experimental hatchery in its facilities. This subcontract is needed since the USC does not have the facilities to perform the culture of mollusc larvae. USC has collaborative research with CIMA since around the year 2000. For microbiota analyses of scallop the UiB will send the samples (sea water and larvae or seed) to USC .

Key persons

Jesús L. Romalde (email : jesus.romalde@usc.es )
Associated Professor (PhD., Doctor of Science) at the Department of Microbiology and Parasitology of the USC, Prof Romalde has been involved in research in microbiology of aquatic organisms since approximately 1990, including characterization of bacterial and viral pathogens, development of diagnostic and preventive methods, and epidemiological aspects of fish and shellfish diseases. He is currently leader of a Galician project on soft-shell clam pathology. In the present programme he is the scientific leader of the microbiology cross-cutting axe.

Juan L. Barja
Professor (PhD., Doctor of Science) at the Department of Microbiology and Parasitology of the USC, Juan L. Barja has been involved in research on the pathology of fish and shellfish since about 1980, including characterization of bacterial and viral pathogens, development of diagnostic and preventive methods, virulence mechanisms, and epidemiological aspects of fish and shellfish diseases. He is currently the leader of two Galician projects on oyster pathology and prevention by probiotics.

The research group will also involve one post doctoral researcher, three graduate students and one technician with proven experience in the study of mollusc microbiota and diseases.