Stable Core Gut Microbiota across the Freshwater-to-Saltwater Transition for Farmed Atlantic Salmon


Gut microbiota associations through habitat transitions are fundamentally important yet poorly understood. One such habitat transition is the migration from freshwater to saltwater for anadromous fish, such as salmon. The aim of the current work was therefore to determine the freshwater-to-saltwater transition impact on the gut microbiota in farmed Atlantic salmon, with dietary interventions resembling freshwater and saltwater diets with respect to fatty acid composition. Using deep 16S rRNA gene sequencing and quantitative PCR, we found that the freshwater-to-saltwater transition had a major association with the microbiota composition and quantity, while diet did not show significant associations with the microbiota. In saltwater there was a 100-fold increase in bacterial quantity, with a relative increase of Firmicutes and a relative decrease of both Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. Irrespective of an overall shift in microbiota composition from freshwater to saltwater, we identified three core clostridia and one Lactobacillus-affiliated phylotype with wide geographic distribution that were highly prevalent and co-occurring. Taken together, our results support the importance of the dominating bacteria in the salmon gut, with the freshwater microbiota being immature. Due to the low number of potentially host-associated bacterial species in the salmon gut, we believe that farmed salmon can represent an important model for future understanding of host-bacterium interactions in aquatic environments.

IMPORTANCE Little is known about factors affecting the interindividual distribution of gut bacteria in aquatic environments. We have shown that there is a core of four highly prevalent and co-occurring bacteria irrespective of feed and freshwater-to-saltwater transition. The potential host interactions of the core bacteria, however, need to be elucidated further.


DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01974-17

Projects: GenoSysFat

Publication type: Not specified

Journal: Appl Environ Microbiol

Citation: Appl Environ Microbiol 84(2) : e01974-17

Date Published: 15th Jan 2018

Registered Mode: Not specified

Authors: Knut Rudi, Inga Leena Angell, Phillip B. Pope, Jon Olav Vik, Simen Rød Sandve, Lars-Gustav Snipen

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Rudi, K., Angell, I. L., Pope, P. B., Vik, J. O., Sandve, S. R., & Snipen, L.-G. (2018). Stable Core Gut Microbiota across the Freshwater-to-Saltwater Transition for Farmed Atlantic Salmon. In H. L. Drake (Ed.), Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Vol. 84, Issue 2). American Society for Microbiology.

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Created: 9th Jan 2018 at 14:26

Last updated: 9th Jan 2018 at 14:30

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