Indian Council of Agricultural Research
  • Protozoan parasite Perkinsus olseni in oyster tissue
  • Thorny-headed worm Tenuiprobosis sp. in the intestine of cultured marine fish
  • Acanthocephalan infection in red snapper
  • Genomics Laboratory
  • Biotechnological products: Varna Fish Feed and Nutraceuticals

Home Marine Biotechnology, Fish Nutrition and Health Division

Thrust Areas of Research:

Fish Genetics, Genomics, Molecular Biology, & Fish Physiology
Fish Nutrition
Fish Health (Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology, Cell Culture & Molecular Diagnostics)
Biochemistry and Bioprospecting


Ongoing Research Projects:


Project title & Code

Present Status/ Remarks


Health management in selected finfish and shellfish (MBT/HM/23). PI: Dr. N. K. Sanil

In-house Continuing 2020-2025

Sub project: Characterization and evaluation of bioactive compounds from marine organisms for use against different diseases (MBT/HM/SUB 23). DPI: Dr. Kajal Chakraborty

In-house Continuing 2020-2023

Nutrition and nutrigenomics research for mariculture and marine fisheries (MBT/NGM/24). PI: Dr. D. Linga Prabu

In-house Continuing 2020-2025

Genetic and genomic tools for sustainable marine fisheries, mariculture and conservation (MBT/GNM/25). PI: Dr. Sandhya Sukumaran

In-house Continuing 2020-2025

Cellular Aquaculture and the refinement of In-vitro Pearl formation (MBT/CA/26). PI: Dr. Sreenivasa Raghavan

In-house Continuing 2020-2025

Environmental DNA (eDNA) Metabarcoding – based estimation of marine stocks (MBT/DNA/37). PI: Dr. M. A. Pradeep

In-house Continuing 2017-2024

Network Programme on Assessment of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Microorganisms Associated with Fisheries and Aquaculture in India (Network Project – AMR). PI: Dr. Krupesha Sharma

Funded Project 2021 - 2025

Stock structure investigations on yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares from EEZ of India and the adjacent high seas using genomic tools. PI: Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan

Funded Project DoF NFDB2016-2022

National Surveillance Programme for aquatic animal diseases. PI: Dr. N. K. Sanil

NFDB Funded Project 2015-2022

Consortium Research Platform (CRP) on Vaccines and Diagnostics. PI: Dr. N. K. Sanil

ICAR Funded Project 2015-2021 (June)

AINP on Fish Health. PI: Dr. Krupesha Sharma

ICAR Funded Project 2017-2025

E G Silas Centre of Excellence and Innovation (EGS-COEI) in marine fish microbiome and nutrigenomics PI: Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan/ Dr.Krupesha Sharma

DST Funded Project 2020-2025

De Novo whole genome and transcriptome sequencing of Asian Green Mussel, Perna viridis PI: Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan/ Dr. Sandhya Sukumaran/ Dr. Akhilesh Pandey

DBT Funded Project 2021-2024

Evaluation of immune-enhancing polysaccharides of edible chlorophytan seaweed Ulva lactuca (sea-lettuce) and development of functional polysaccharide nanoparticle PI: Dr. Kajal Chakraborty

DST Funded Project 2022-2025

Completed Research Projects:

a. In-house projects :

Formulation and evaluation of larval and growout feed for marine crabs, lobsters, ornamentals and cage farmed finfish MBTD/NUT/01
Pathogen profiling, diagnostics and health management in maricultured finfish and shellfish
Biotechnological applications in mariculture and conservation

b. Sponsored Projects

Development of species specific DNA markers in economically important shellfish species green mussel (Perna viridis) and edible oyster (Crassostrea madrasensis) for their application in farming and resource management
Development and application of CMG family Recombinant hormones, their antagonists and RNAi technique for induced maturation and spawning of Penaeus monodon.
Development of genetically improved strains of Brine shrimp Artemia using qualitative and molecular genetic tools.
Characterization of novel antioxidants from red and brown seaweeds from Gulf of Mannar
Establishment and characterization of cell lines from the rabbit fish Siganus canaliculatus and the marine ornamental fish, Dascyllus trrimaculatus
Fish Feeds
Nutrient profiling and evaluation of fish as a dietary component
Fish genetic stocks

c. Consultancy Projects :

Consultancy in Shrimp Nutrition for Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) Domestication of Tiger Shrimp Project (DTSP), Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture (RGCA) in the year 2010
Advisory on screening OIE listed pathogens relevant to Kerala, India – Consultancy provided to Kerala Aqua Ventures International limited (KAVIL), Fisheries Complex Building, Salim Ali Road, Ernakulam, Kerala, 682018 in the year 2012.

Significant Achievements in the last 5 years


  • Microalgae and abiotic stress: Collected, isolated and maintaining 144 pure isolates of marine microalgae representing different habitats of Indian Coast, with Phenotypic and Genotypic details of about 80 isolates. An abiotic stress gene for salinity tolerance from microalgae Teraselmis indica (hyperhaline microalgae isolated from the Pulicat Lake) has been identified using subtractive suppression hybridization (SSH) method and characterized using RACE-PCR method. This ‘mined gene for salinity tolerance’ could be useful in the transgenic studies.
  • The ‘ CadalminTM, Varna series’ of marine ornamental formulated fish feed developed has been field tested and routinely used at CMFRI Centers for aquarium rearing facilities and has received wide acceptance from aquariculturists, which is sold through ATIC counter at CMFRI, HQ, Cochin. A Patent application entitled ‘Formulated feed for marine ornamental fishes and a product therefore’ has been filed. Efforts are underway for commercialization of the feed.
  • Reverse transcriptase- Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), for the detection of beta noda virus (VNN), a sensitive and specific DNA based diagnostic method, which can also be used in the field for the screening the candidate finfish broodstocks, larvae and farmed has been developed, and is under validation.
  • First report of Perkinsus beihaiensis in Crassostrea madrasensis from the Indian subcontinent. Profiling study on the Indian edible oyster Crassostrea madrasensis, , for the presence of Perkinsus spp revealed the presence of P. beihaiensis for the first time in C. madrasensis populations from the Indian subcontinent and south Asia.
  • Novel nutraceuticals from green mussel (Perna virdis), the CadalminTM GMe, and the nutraceutical CadalminTM GAe from marine macroalage has been developed through unique biochemical engineering. This nutraceuticals effective for the treatment of joint pain is a green alternative to synthetic NSAIDs (viz., aspirin containing drugs having undesirable side effects). After filing process patents, the products have been commercialized through Amalgam group of companies, at Kochi and Celestial Biolab at Hyderabad.
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