The DBT funded Dr. E. G. Silas Centre of Excellence and Innovations in Marine Fish Microbiome and Nutrigenomics (Dr.EGS - CoEI) project is a strategic intervention attempt to meet the growing demand for fish seeds required for marine aquaculture to further the ‘Blue economy’ of the nation. This scheme is implemented as the first centre of excellence in marine fish microbiome and nutrigenomics research in India.
Dr. EGS-CoEI in Marine Fish Microbiome and Nutrigenomics” has been implemented in the ICAR-CMFRI with the financial support from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in 2020. The project encompasses two sub-projects.

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Dr. E. G. Silas, the doyen of Indian marine fisheries

Dr.SilasDr. E. G. Silas, a widely respected personality and eminent scientist in the field of fisheries and aquaculture research of India, is aptly known as a doyen of India’s marine fisheries research. Dr. Silas has donned several roles during his illustrious and seamless career spanning over six decades namely, the Vice-Chancellor of Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), the Director of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), the founder Director of ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), Chairman of Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA), founder Chairman of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Officer on Special Duty for the establishment of Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) at Port Blair, etc. Read More


An emerging paradigm suggests that microbiome and proper nutrition in the early life stages can play a critical role in growth, immunity and disease susceptibility of succeeding life stages of fishes, while the larval microbiome, immunity and nutritional manipulations remain as a poorly explored area in mariculture sector of India. Hence, the project envisages to address the poor larval growth, quality and survival rates of commercially important maricultured finfishes of India through a holistic approach incorporating microbiome, immunity, nutritional and genetic factors, and their interactions by establishing “Centre of Excellence and Innovations (CoEI) in Marine Fish Microbiome and Nutrigenomics” in ICAR-CMFRI, the premier research institute undertaking marine fisheries research in India. The approach will be initially applied in the most commercially significant maricultured species of India namely, cobia (Rachycentron canadum) and silver Pompano (Trachinotus blochii).The products and strategies/protocols evolved through the research will also be evaluated in orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides); another commercially important species to check the enhancement in cross species fish larval survival. Concisely, the identified microbial/immunity/nutritional manipulations which are beneficial to the host will be utilized for developing novel strategies to improve larval growth, quality and survival of target species. Simultaneously, the proposed CoEI would advance the state of art facilities in aquaculture microbiome and nutrigenomics and increase expertise within India. Considering the matchless contributions of Dr. E G Silas, former Director of ICAR-CMFRI to the development of fisheries and mariculture in India, the Centre is entitled ‘Dr. E G Silas Centre of Excellence and Innovation’. Read More

Research Highlights
  • Influence of preservation methods on marine fish larval microbiome profiles was systematically analyzed, which showed that the methods..Read More

  • Immediate freezing without any buffer, preservation at room temperature in absolute ethanol, and preservation at -20o C in lysis storage..Read More

  • Preservation in TE buffer at -20o C is not ideal for marine fish larval microbiome research.Read More

  • Larvae preserved in absolute ethanol at room temperature indicated significant similarity from the deep frozen samples.Read More

FIP Documents