Staff Publications Projects and contracts Thesis


The main scientific aim of the Molecular Pathobiology research group is the application of molecular and cellular methodologies to early development and disease studies of fish and molluscs, as well as the application of basic science to improve the performance and sustainability of marine aquaculture. Our research proposal integrates a combination of genetic, epigenetic, molecular biology and microscopy tools, as well as the creation of organisms genetically modified to isolate and identify the agents causing both infectious and non-infectious diseases, to analyse host-pathogen interactions and the activation and modulation of resistance and defence mechanisms against external aggressions, to understand the role of differential expression of genes related to disease aetiology and to provide more personalised approaches for its management. Therefore, we aim to transfer knowledge, technology and information on those fields with important investments in basic research to allow its profitable use in applied research.



  1. Study of molecular bases of differentiation, plasticity and establishment of morphological phenotype (Josep Rotllant). This area of research is specifically focused on the study of molecular processes that control formation, differentiation and normal and anomalous development of skeletal and integumentary system (pigmentation). To study these processes, Dr. Rotllant’s area of research uses both common biochemical and molecular techniques and the application of differential gene expression techniques in zebrafish (transgenesis, morpholine, CRISPR/CAS9 technology). The use of the zebrafish model is justified by its high degree of genetic similarity to other species of fish and vertebrates, its easy handling and reproduction as well as the great possibilities for the application of new genetic manipulation technologies.
  2. Study of pathologies and molecular bases of the early development and immunecompetence of relevant marine organisms for aquaculture, mainly cephalopod molluscs. (Camino Gestal). This area of research is focused on diagnosis of pathogenic microorganisms that infect cephalopod molluscs and on the molecular bases of diet and culture conditions and their effect on correct development and immunecompetence. To study these, both microscopy techniques and molecular techniques of differential gene expression are used, including omic technologies (transcriptomic and proteomic). The main aim of this research is to contribute to the improvement of growth and health condition in cultured molluscs through the study of epigenetic regulation and immune response mechanisms, establishing the identification of resistance biomarker genes and the immuno-stimulation as future strategies to improve the management and control of diseases in these organisms.





Camino Gestal Mateo


Phone: +34 986 231930 ext. 860290

Josep Rotllant Moragas


Phone: +34 986 231930 ext. 860288

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