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University of Belgrade


IMGGE has gained the opportunity to join the leading European projects supporting the research and innovations in aquaculture, namely the AquaExcel2020 ( and AquaExcel 3.0 (, through Transnational Access (TNA) programme. Both projects have been coordinated by Dr. Marc Vandeputte, National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), France. This great opportunity for IMGGE has been provided by the Research Centre for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Institute of Aquaculture and Environmental Safety, Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (MATE AKI HAKI), a partner at AquaExcel2020 and AquaExcel 3.0. The lead researcher from the IMGGE side was Dr. Jovanka Lukic (

Up to this date, four TNA projects have been carried out by IMGGE and MATE AKI HAKI:

  1. LAPPAQ (2016) (see “Lactic acid bacteria improve growth and health, and reduce potentially pathogenic bacteria levels in larval pike-perch” at
  2. LABRAWEAN (2018) (see “Effects of lactobacilli supplemented to cultured pike-perch through live and inert diets on fish performance in the case of rapid and gradual weaning” at
  3. PROFEE (2019/2020) (see “Modification of live and inert feed nutritive value by probiotic lactobacilli for facilitation of weaning of first feeding pike-perch larvae” at
  4. PROBASSIC (2022/2023)

The first three projects evaluated the role of probiotic bacteria in pike-perch (Sander lucioperca) larviculture. Briefly, larval feeds, including Artemia live prey and inert starter feed were enriched with probiotics using different procedures (incubation, coating). This was associated with growth improvement in larvae, primarily skeleton development. The last project has evaluated the suitability of various complete diets for the weaning of indoor-nursed largemouth bass, LMB (Micropterus salmoides), demonstrating that LMB can be successfully weaned onto diets with fewer marine ingredients. Since the nutritional demands of LMB are poorly defined, this is expected to facilitate sustainable cultivation of LMB. Seven publications in peer-reviewed internationally recognized journals, featuring the above results, have been published to this moment:

Lukić, J., Gyalog, G., Horváth, Z., Szűcs, A.A., Ristović, T., Terzić-Vidojević, A., Sándor, Z.J., Ljubobratović, U., 2023. Evaluation of post-larval diets for indoor weaned largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Animals 13, 3179.

Lukić, J., Stanisavljević, N., Vukotić, G., Terzić-Vidojević, A., Begović, J., Golić, N., Ljubobratović, U., 2021. Enrichment of larval fish feed with free amino acids and proteins by coating with Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei BGHN14 homogenate. Turk. J. Fish. & Aquat. Sci. 21: 569-573.

Ljubobratović, U., Fazekas, G, Koljukaj, A., Ristović, T., Vass, V., Ardó, L., Stanisavljević, N., Vukotić, G., Pešić, M., Milinčić, D., Kostić, A., Lukić, J., 2021. Pike-perch larvae growth in response to administration of lactobacilli-enriched inert feed during first feeding. Aquaculture 542: 736901.

Lukic, J., Stanisavljevic, N., Vukotic, G., Kosanovic, D., Terzic-Vidojevic, A., Begovic, J., Golic, N., Jeney, G., Ljubobratovic, U., 2020. Lactobacillus salivarius BGHO1 and Lactobacillus reuteri BGGO6-55 modify nutritive profile of Artemia franciscana nauplii in a strain ratio, dose and application timing-dependent manner. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech. 259: 114356.

Ljubobratovic, U., Kosanovic, D., Demény, F.Z., Krajcsovics, A., Vukotic, G., Stanisavljevic, N., Golic, N., Jeney, G., Lukic, J., 2020. The effect of live and inert feed treatment with lactobacilli on weaning success in intensively reared pike-perch larvae. Aquaculture, 516: 734608.

Lukic, J., Vukotic, G., Stanisavljevic, N., Kosanovic, D., Molnar, Z., Begovic, J., Terzic-Vidojevic, A., Jeney, G., Ljubobratovic, U., 2019. Solid state treatment with Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei BGHN14 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus BGT10 improves nutrient bioavailability in granular fish feed. PLoS ONE 14(7): e0219558.

Ljubobratovic, U., Kosanovic, D., Vukotic, G., Molnar, Z., Stanisavljevic, N., Ristovic, T., Peter, G., Lukic, J., Jeney, G., 2017. Supplementation of lactobacilli improves growth, regulates microbiota composition and suppresses skeletal anomalies in juvenile pike-perch (Sander lucioperca) reared in recirculating aquaculture system (RAS): a pilot study. Res. Vet. Sci. 115, 451-462.

In addition, the projects were featured in:

  1. AquaExcel2020 newsletters: (p. 2), (p. 4), and
  2. AquaExcel2020 industry brokerage event:

Jovanka Lukic, IMGGE, lead TNA project researcher (right), working in MATE AKI HAKI research facilities with MATE AKI HAKI research staff (Dr. Uros Ljubobratovic, in the middle, and Tijana Ristovic, left) (left photo). The upper middle photo shows the MATE AKI HAKI indoor larval rearing facility with LMB larvae (lower middle photo). The right image shows up close the LMB larvae, used in the last TNA project. Credit: Jelena Stanivuk, MATE AKI HAKI, and Jovanka Lukic

Aside from delivering results possessing considerable exploitation potential, the collaboration between IMGGE and MATE AKI HAKI in the frame of the above TNA projects produced significant scientific outcomes, showcased through joint research and publications on various other topics within AquaExcel and other regional or national funding schemes:

Ljubobratović, U., Ardó, L., Fazekas, G., Horváth, Z., Lukić, J., 2024. Effect of thermal management on vitellogenesis and maturation in indoor-reared pikeperch (Sander lucioperca). Czech J. Anim. Sci. 69, 18-28.

Péter, G., Lukić, J., Brlás-Molnár, Z., Ardó, L., Horváth, Z., Rónyai, A., Bársony, P., Ljubobratović, U., 2023. Effect of single-generation domestication of pikeperch on the performance of the offspring in conventional and pond recirculation aquaculture system. Aquaculture Reports, 32, 101702.

Péter, G., Lukić, J., Milla, S., Sándor, Z.J., Brlás-Molnár, Z., Ardó, L., Bekefi, E., Ljubobratović, U., 2023. Reproduction of hatchery-reared pike-perch (Sander lucioperca) fed diet with low-marine-ingredients: role of dietary fatty Acids. Fishes 8, 219.

Péter, G., Lukić, J., Alvestad, R., Horváth, Z., Nagy, Z., Rónyai, A., Bársony, P., Ljubobratović, U., 2023. Nursing of pike-perch (Sander lucioperca) in Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) provides growth advantage in juvenile growth phase. Animals 13, 347.

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