The laboratory of Aquaculture & Artemia Reference Center is active in research, education and services related to larviculture of fish, crustacean and shellfish species of aquaculture interest with emphasis on larval nutrition and microbial community management. It is on of the major research institutes of Aqua UGent.
Over the past decade, this lab has strongly invested in developing tools and methodologies to study host-microbial interactions in detail. Stochastic colonization of aquatic systems results in an (undocumented) variability of the microbial community and as a result lack of repeatability and reproducibility of experimental results. Therefore gnotobiotic model systems using axenic animals were developed to overcome this experimental impediment. A gnotobiotic Artemia model system (GART) and a gnotobiotic food chain with seabass larvae in combination with a number of Vibrio strains with virulence gradient allow to investigate diverse disease control strategies under highly controlled conditions. In support of these test systems, also a large number of in vitro tools have been developed to screen the impact of different interventions and strategies on (virulence-related) activity of pathogens.
The MSc in Aquaculture, organized by the Laboratory of Aquaculture & Artemia Reference Center at Ghent University, calls upon recognized aquaculture experts to educate and train students from Europe and third countries and to introduce them to the principles of sustainable development of aquaculture.