AgroBiotech

Havana, Cuba.

Contact

mario.pablo@cigb.edu.cu

Dates

March-June

The Agricultural Research area responds to the needs of increasing agricultural and livestock production in Cuba, for the sustainable satisfaction of the food demands of the Cuban population and the reduction of food imports. Our research projects are aimed at obtaining vaccines and veterinary drugs, as well as bioproducts and improved crops applicable to agriculture and intensive crops. In using genetic engineering and molecular biology as working methods, we are aware of our responsibility for human safety and environmental protection. With the vision of one health, we see genetic engineering as an essential method for the development of new products and the solution of problems of science and technology in the agricultural sphere. Our work is based on ethical values, risk assessment and following biosafety measures in accordance with the requirements of current legislation.

The Plant Biotechnology area is dedicated to the molecular biology and genetic improvement of plant species of agricultural interest and to research on compounds and microorganisms for crop protection, as well as for food, human and animal health. Ongoing projects in the area of genetic engineering are aimed at introducing genes for defense against pests and fungal and viral diseases. Work is also being done on the genetic modification of crops to improve their properties related to their use in industry and animal feed. These studies are carried out in strict compliance with current biosafety standards, and research related to the toxicological and environmental implications of genetically modified organisms is promoted.

Animal biotechnology is dedicated to the development of drugs and vaccines for the treatment of diseases and pathogens of animal species of economic interest, as well as the development of molecules that help improve the productivity of aquatic species relevant to human food. This group has developed a vaccine by recombinant DNA techniques against the bovine tick Rhipicephalus microplus, commercially called GavacĀ©, with a very successful application for more than 20 years in Cuba, as part of an Integrated Control Program of this ectoparasite and also with very important field experiences in countries such as Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico and others. Currently, we are working on the development of another candidate product for an anti-tick vaccine with excellent results in controlled trials. With this experience in the development of products for the immunological control of ectoparasites, different vaccine candidates have been developed against sea lice, which are ectoparasites that affect salmonids. We are also working on a protein subunit vaccine against classical swine fever with excellent and novel results for this type of vaccine and its accompanying diagnostic system. We also have an effective vaccine candidate against rabbit hemorrhagic fever. In research for the development of products applicable to aquatic organisms, we have developed a battery of molecules called Acuabio that stimulate the growth and innate immune system of fish and crustaceans with very encouraging results in their field tests both in our country and in other countries. Finally, capabilities have been developed for the generation of transgenic animals as models for diseases of human interest.