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Characterisation of gut microbiota of farmed Chinook salmon using metabarcoding

Ciric, M., Waite, D., Draper, J. and Jones, J.B.ORCID: 0000-0002-0773-2007 (2018) Characterisation of gut microbiota of farmed Chinook salmon using metabarcoding. bioRxiv: The Preprint server for Biology .

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With the growing importance of aquaculture worldwide, characterisation of the microbial flora of high-value aquaculture species and identification of gut flora shifts induced by changes in fish physiology or nutrition is of special interest. Here we report the first metabarcoding survey of the intestinal bacteria of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), an economically important aquacultured species. The microbiota of 30 farmed Chinook salmon from a single cohort was surveyed using metabarcode profiling of the V3-V4 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Seawater, feed and intestinal samples, and controls were sequenced in quadruplicate to assess both biological and technical variation in the microbial profiles. Over 1,000 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified within the cohort, providing a first glimpse into the gut microbiota of farmed Chinook salmon. The taxonomic distribution of the salmon microbiota was reasonably stable, with around two thirds of individuals dominated by members of the family Vibrionaceae. This survey was performed amid a summer heat wave, during which the fish exhibited reduced feeding. Although the sampled fish appeared healthy, they had minimal intestinal content, and the observed intestinal flora may represent the microbiota of fasting and stressed fish. Limited comparison between Mycoplasma and Vibrio sequences from the Chinook salmon gut and published microbial sequences from the intestines of a variety of fish species (including Atlantic salmon) indicated that despite the starvation and temperature variations, the replacement of Vibrio with Mycoplasma is occurring within expected ecological parameters and does not necessarily reflect colonisation by atypical microbes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Cold Spring Habour Laboratory
Copyright: © 2018 The Authors
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