28 Nov, 2018

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Dr Sebastian Rakers working in a lab with the students during the training
In the framework of the project “Ich liebe Fisch” (I love fish), which is being implemented in partnership between the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Society for Marine Aquaculture (Germany) and the Fraunhofer Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Technology (EMB,) a training in Molecular Biology and Cryopreservation was conducted from 6th to 10th November 2018.

The training aimed at equipping students with skills on molecular biology and how to use them. Students were offered practical sessions in areas of DNA extraction, DNA amplification, gel electrophoresis and allele scoring, and the long term preservation of biological material like semen using liquid nitrogen.

The training was facilitated by Dr Sebastian Rakers of the Fraunhofer Institute, EMB.
Speaking after the training, Dr Rakers said the training was offered to equip students with knowledge in molecular biology and cryopreservation.

“Molecular biology is quite important in terms of fish breeding. We can use molecular biology techniques to search for the best genes in terms of better growth or better health of fish, so it is relatively important to get to strains that are resistant towards diseases for example,” he said.

“In the training we did isolation of DNA from the famous Chambo which is produced here at LUANAR, and it is expected that during the further course of the project, we will identify relevant genes that are responsible for growth and better health in the species”, he continued.
Speaking in an interview, one of the participants, Asante Nkhata, expressed her appreciation for the training. She said the knowledge gained will be very helpful in her studies.

“I have learnt a lot during the training. I have learnt how to make a lysis buffer, how to isolate DNA and also how to run a Polymerase Chain Reaction. This will be very helpful in my studies and also my research,” she said.

Eric Anafi, another participant, also added on that the training will help him to apply the genetic knowledge he had gained from the training into his studies in fish nutrition as he is doing his research.

I Love Fish project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.