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Scientists to develop artificial salmon gut

A new project will build an artificial salmon gut. This will help to better understand fish digestion.

Led by scientists at the University of Glasgow, the 3-year project, named SalmoSim will work in collaboration with The Marine Institute and University College Cork (Ireland), Nofima (Norway), Alltech and Marine Harvest.

SalmoSim’s aim is to better understand the link between gut microbiota and the development and digestion of salmon. Gut microbiota, the bacteria that colonise the intestine, are known to play a vital role in digestion and nutrient absorption across a wide variety of different organisms. Understanding how these microbes can facilitate the efficient absorption of novel feeds in salmon is of vital importance.

Dr Martin Llewellyn, from the University of Glasgow’s School of Life Sciences, said: “The experimental gut system, once established, will represent a powerful tool to carry out basic and applied research into fish digestion. We’re really excited that it will be based here at Glasgow.”

The initial project will run for just over 3-years. However, the tool that will be established should be a valuable test-bed for novel feeds and feed formulations for many years to come, safeguarding the sustainability and quality of Scottish Farmed Atlantic Salmon.

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