The DBT funded Dr.E.G.Silas Centre of Excellence and Innovations in Marine Fish Microbiome and Nutrigenomics (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.
The Project entitled “Dr.E.G.Silas Centre of Excellence and Innovations (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.E.G.Silas has donned many roles during his illustrious and seamless career that spanned over 6 decades; he was the former Vice Chancellor of Kerala Agricultural University, the former Director of ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), the founder Director of ICAR-Central Institute of Brackish water Aquaculture (CIBA), Chairman of Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA), founder Chairman of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) and Officer on Special Duty for the establishment of Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) at Port Blair. During the decades of his eventful career as scientist, academician and administrator, many of his decisions and initiatives reflected his deep foresight into the future. Long before marine living resources were considered to be exhaustible and the words such as "conservation", "resource management" "ecosystem management", "endangered species" “Red list" "Resource depletion" and so on were not in fisheries parlance. Dr.E.G.Silas had the foresight to turn the focus of Indian marine research into these problems and issues, during the fifties and sixties of 20th century. 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 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 -20ºC in lysis storage..Read More

  • Preservation in TE buffer at -20oC 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