On 1-2 June 2022, the “Symposium finalizing the realisation of the Polish-French partnership project HARMONIA financed by the National Science Center (NCN)” was held at the Polish Academy of Sciences Scientific Center in Paris. The Symposium was attended by researchers and PhD students from the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IARFR PAN) in Olsztyn and French collaborators from the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE ): Dr Julien Bobe (director of the INRA Fish Physiology and Genomics laboratory) and Dr Christophe Klopp (leader of the group of bioinformaticians providing services to INRAE-SIGENAE biologists). The meeting was chaired by Dr Daniel Żarski – the project coordinator – who introduced the general concept of the HARMONIA project, i.e. the search for molecular markers of egg quality in pikeperch and understanding the role of individual molecules in the egg’s ability to fertilise and its subsequent development. It should be emphasised that during the realisation of this project, the French partners brought their knowledge and experience in fish reproductive biology, transcriptomics and bioinformatics to the Polish group, while the Polish partners brought detailed zootechnical and biological knowledge of fish reproduction and research skills in proteomics. In this sense, the four entities complemented each other with different expertise and laboratory capabilities, creating a unique interdisciplinary team.

In the different sessions of the Symposium, various aspects of the molecular characterisation of zander eggs, the creation of a multi-tissue transcriptomic atlas of the species under study, as well as the possible implementation of a genome editing system to verify the functionality of certain gonad-specific genes in this species were presented and discussed in detail. An important part was also to discuss and determine the fate of the remaining data and the reuse of already published data. Polish and French researchers discussed the possibility of collaborating on Dr Daniel Żarski’s current research project – SONATA BIS, also funded by NCN – to investigate the contribution of parents to offspring quality in other Eurasian perch species.

During the meeting, the results of all the research work carried out during the project were presented, which enabled a comprehensive molecular profile of pike perch eggs to be generated for the first time. In addition, some of this work has allowed the refinement of hatchery protocols for this species, which are finding their way into aquaculture businesses across Europe.

It should be noted that the HARMONIA project has so far led to the publication of 6 scientific articles with Polish and French authors, and at least 3 are currently being prepared for submission to scientific journals. As a result of this Symposium, two new projects – prepared in collaboration with French partners – have emerged and are expected to be submitted to NCN in Poland later this year.

Date of the conference: 1-2 June 2022

Place of the conference: Polish Academy of Sciences Scientific Center in Paris (74, rue Lauriston)


Organising Committee:

Dr Daniel Żarski (Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn)

Diana Kogaczewska (Polish Academy of Sciences Scientific Center in Paris)