Microbiology, Fermentation and Biotechnology



About Division

The division of Microbiology Fermentation and Biotechnology carries the privilege of being the forerunner in developing and undertaking basic, applied and strategic research on seafood microbiology, aquatic animal disease surveillance, antimicrobial resistance mapping and its control. The division is also conducting cutting edge research on emerging and remerging seafood pathogens, bioprospecting of aquatic bacteria, microbial composting, aquatic phage therapy, nanotechnological approaches for bacterial control, aquaculture probiotics, gut microbiome sequencing of fish and shellfishes, molecular source tracking of bacterial pathogens, dynamics of AMR by metagenomic and whole genome approaches etc. The division has standardised the protocol for the isolation and identification of various seafoodborne pathogens and continuously supporting the seafood and aquaculture industry for microbiological testing as well as the production and distribution of beneficial microbial cultures. The division provides consultancy and contract research services to the aquaculture companies, government agencies and seafood industries. The division offers teaching and research guidance to master’s and PhD students.

Facilities available

  • Attenuated total reflectance- Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR- FTIR)
  • Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE),
  • Differential gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)
  • BD Phoenix automated identification and susceptibility testing system
  • Microarray scanner
  • Bio-analyzer,
  • Real-time PCR
  • Fermentor / bioreactor
  • Cryotome
  • Ultrasound sonicator
  • Tangential flow filtration system
  • Rotary evaporator
  • electroporation system
  • ELISA Reader
  • Fluorescent Microscope
  • Lyophilizer,
  • Shaker incubator
  • Refrigerated centrifuge
  • Nanophotometer
  • Flurometer
  • Ultralow temperature freezers

Services offered

  • NABL Recognised diagnostics for testing of OIE listed viral pathogens of shellfish, and Clostridium botulinum and its toxins in seafood.
  • Disease diagnosis for aquatic animal diseases
  • Genotyping of seafood borne pathogens
  • PCR test kits for the rapid detection of viral and bacterial pathogens of zoonotic importance
  • Provides consultancy and contract research services related to divisions research mandates such as microbial analysis, identification of novel biomolecules, FTIR analysis, quantitative analysis of bacterial DNA, expression of target genes, genotyping, reference bacterial cultures for seafood pathogens, AMR bacteria and target genes, source tracking of bacterial contamination, PCR based diagnostic kits etc.
  • Act as a counselling centre for the establishment and setting up of aquatic animal health laboratory
  • Offers various training programmes for the benefits of students, farmers, technologists/ research scholars, private and public sector participants across the globe
  • The training programmes offered are  
  • Identification of bacterial diseases of aquatic animals
  • Antimicrobial resistance profiling of bacterial pathogens
  • Molecular source tracking and use of bioinformatic tools for typing of pathogens
  • Advanced microbiological and molecular techniques for the detection of pathogens
  • Microbiological examination of seafood
  • Identification of spoilage microflora of various seafood products
  • Detection of viral pathogens of fish and shellfishes

Research findings

  • WGS surveillance of AMR pathogens from retail markets of Assam was carried out. The occurrence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ST672-MRSA-IV/t1309 (an emerging disease clone) and a high prevalence of ST88-MRSA-IV/t2526 (first reports from India) was reported
  • Baseline assessment of AMR in the aquaculture farms revealed various genotypes of three major human pathogens namely, the extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli & Klebsiella pneumoniae, and the methicillin-resistant Staphylococci.
  • Comprehensive genotyping of the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates revealed high prevalence of ST772-t345-SCCmec V, a community-associated epidemic clone.
  • Twenty-seven β-haemolytic V. parahaemolyticus were isolated from 7 out of 40 farms studied. Among the 27 isolates, 15 possessed the tdh gene and 4 had trh. ERIC PCR and PFGE illustrated the presence of pathogenic isolates that shared genetic similarity with clinical strains.
  • Quorum quenching ability of Bacillus spp. strains to reduce the expression of some virulence factors of a shrimp pathogen, Vibrio harveyi revealed the potential application of AHL-degrading Bacillus spp. as an alternative to antibiotics in shrimp hatcheries to control luminescent vibriosis
  • Shrimp shell waste bioprocessed with protease producing Bacillus strains were able to produce chitin ranging from 2
  • MLST sequence types, ST 1510 and ST 3765 were identified from Salmonella Paratyphi B isolated from seafood markets of Cochin region
  • Carbon dot synthesized from fish protein hydrolysate showed antibacterial activity against E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin resistant S. aureus
  • Fluorescent signals of the bacterial cells were found to be high during bacterial attachment to carbon dot which can be used for fluorescent imaging of bacteria
  • Silver nanoparticles synthesized using green technology with limon peel extract (Citrus limon) ntibacterial properties against V. mimicus at very low concentrations
  • Metal nanoparticles viz. Zinc oxide nanoparticles, Cupric oxide nanoparticles, and Magnesium Oxide nanoparticles were prepared by the sol-gel method it antibacterial activity was evaluated.
  • Food waste including fishery waste were converted to compost in 80 days using Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis
  • Phage based biocontrol for E. coli and Vibrio harveyi were developed and whole genome sequencing of coliphage and vibrio phage were completed
  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) burden in Escherichia coli of Vembanad Lake, Kerala, revealed multidrug resistance in 30% of the strains, and extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producers in 32% of the strains

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