Laboratory for aquaculture biotechnology (LAB) conducts research on interaction of aquaculture effects and environment from chemical and biological standpoints, as well as on physiological and molecular properties of aquatic organisms (fish, shellfish, crustaceans, algae) with a view to enhance the farming technology, introduce novel species in aquaculture and investigate ecological approaches to aquaculture biotechnology.
Scientific activities of LAB are conducted within several research topics:
• Development, enhancement and adaptation of new diagnostic methods/techniques for estimation and detection of physiological/metabolic reactions
• Development and estimation of biological stress indicators for existing and newly introduced cultured species
• Development of biological markers for detection of ecosystem disballance on various levels of biological organization
• Evaluation of immunomodulator effects on immune system (defense mechanisms and reactions) of aquatic organisms, and development of novel immunomodulating bioactive components for aquaculture use
c) Novel aquaculture species
• Introduction of novel aquaculture species
• Introduction, development and harmonization of –omics-based methods for the purpose of better understanding of physiological processes of novel species in farming conditions, adaptation of existing technologies to novel species, and enhancement of quality and health of macrobiota
Biotechnology approach and application of biochemical (colorimetry, spectrophotometry, mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, liquid chromatography) histological/histochemical, microbiological, molecular, electrochemical methods and techniques along with numerical modelling and innovative technologies of culture, contributing significantly to better understanding od:
a) Microbiological research
• Molecular investigation of aquatic ecosystem microbiome for characterization of microorganisms in the environment
b) Toxicity studies
• Estimation of potential toxicity of natural compounds by several biotests for testing the effects on various levels of biological organization (bacterial strains, aquatic and terrestrial species as model organisms for estimation of bioactive compounds)
• Enhancement of existing and development of novel biomarkers for testing a wide spectrum of potential toxic compounds
c) Antioxidant characterization
• Development and validation of a straight-forward, rapid, reliable and sensitive electrochemical method for evaluation of total antioxidative capacity, suitable for routine analyses of food on laboratory and industrial scale
• Evaluation of mechanisms of electrochemical and antioxidative effects of antioxidative compounds
BioProCro is a unique trans-disciplinary center for biotechnology research of the Adriatic Sea in Croatia, built on a strong basis of scientific excellence of experts from the Ruđer Bošković Institute, University of Split, University of Zagreb, University of Rijeka and University of Osijek. BioProCro center assembles internationally recognized research groups from the fields of biotechnology, chemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, process engineering, and ecology. Such an integration of research groups in a contemporary center will contribute to innovative scientific explorations of bioactive compounds and materials of the Croatian Adriatic Sea.
Bioprospecting as a novel concept of sustainable use of biological diversity might secure income for developing countries and at the same time give incentive for preservation of biological resources and biological diversity. The center will act as a platform unifying dislocated experts and fragmented biotechnology research in Croatia, enabling a proficient use of existing equipment, accumulated knowledge, expertise and human resources needed for biotechnological investigation of the seas. The research will encompass screening, biological and chemical diversity profiling, extraction, characterization of bioactive compounds, synthesis, testing on model organisms, bioinformatics analyses, testing of products and prototypes and their transfer to industry.