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Title: The intestinal microbiome of farmed rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum)
Author: Lyons, Philip P. T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 4974
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2016
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Abstract:
The study of the gut microbiota of fish began in the 1930’s and since that time a considerable amount of information has been collated on its composition and diversity. These studies have revealed that the microbial communities of the fish gastrointestinal tract are generally difficult to culture on bacteriological media and mainly consist of bacteria, archaea, viruses, yeasts and protists. The bacteria appear to be the most abundant of these microbial groups and their activity may have major implications for host health, development, immunity and nutrition. Therefore, much of the most recent published research has focused on developing improved methods of identifying the extent of the bacterial diversity within the fish gut and unravelling the potential influence of these microorganisms on the health of farmed fish species. However, whilst such studies have improved our knowledge of the dominant bacterial groups present in the rainbow trout gastrointestinal tract, the limited resolution capacity of many of the methods used has meant that our understanding of their baseline composition in healthy fish remains poorly understood. In this study, the bacterial communities that inhabit the intestine, now commonly referred to as the ‘microbiome’, of farmed Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were characterized using a culture independent high-throughput molecular sequencing method. The microbiome of the intestinal lumen and mucosa was investigated to ascertain the true extent of the bacterial diversity present in this fish species prior to further experiments. It was found that the diversity of the intestinal microbiome was greater than previous studies had reported with a total of 90 and 159 bacterial genera being identified in both the lumen and mucosal regions respectively. The dominant bacterial phyla identified in both of the regions investigated were Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Fusobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. Furthermore, the data collected suggested that the intestinal microbiome may be similar in structure between individual fish, and illustrate the utility of next generation molecular methods in the investigation of the fish gut microbiome. A study was conducted to examine the effect of diet on the composition of the intestinal microbiome of rainbow trout. Two diets, one control and one treatment, were prepared which were identical apart from that the treatment diet contained a microalgal component at 5% of the total formulation. These diets were fed to rainbow trout for a total of 15 weeks. At the end of the trial period a total of 12 fish, three from each of four tanks, were sacrificed from each of the control and treatment groups and their intestinal tissue was sampled in order to compare the composition of the microbiome of both groups. The results revealed that both groups of fish shared similar microbiome compositions, with the Tenericutes being by far the most dominant phylum observed. The structure of the intestinal microbiome was not significantly different between both populations of trout tested. An increased level of bacterial diversity was noted in the treatment fish, however, this was not found to be statistically significant. A limited number of bacterial taxa were discriminatory between diets and were significantly elevated in the treatment group. These taxa were predominantly lactic acid bacteria of the genera Streptococcus, Leuconstoc, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus and Weissella. The results of this study suggested that the minor difference in the diets fed resulted in a correspondingly minor alteration in the intestinal microbiome of the tested rainbow trout. This may indicate that diet composition can modify the composition of the intestinal microbiome of these fish. A further study was conducted to investigate the structure of the intestinal microbiome from groups of fish reared in both freshwater cages and aquarium systems, in order to assess whether or not fish raised in different environments share similar microbiomes. This study also employed a novel computational tool, PICRUSt, to analyse the predicted functional capacity of the microbial communities of individual fish sampled from both environments. The data collected suggested that the structure of the intestinal microbiome was similar regardless of where the fish were raised, with the Tenericutes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Spirochaetae and Bacteroidetes representing the dominant bacterial phyla recorded in the rainbow trout intestine. This suggests that the host may regulate the formation of the intestinal microbiome. A significant difference was however noted in community membership between the fish populations tested, which may point to an environmental influence on the intestinal microbiome. These data suggest that both deterministic host factors and stochastic environmental influences play important roles in shaping the composition of the bacterial communities in the intestine of these fish. The PICRUSt analysis revealed that gene pathways relating to metabolism, transport and cellular processes were enhanced in all of the fish studied, which may signal an involvement of these communities in the digestive processes of rainbow trout. In conclusion, this study used high-throughput sequencing methods in order to improve our understanding of the intestinal microbiome of farmed rainbow trout, and the effect of dietary and environmental factors on its composition. This research has generated scientific information relating to baseline bacterial community compositions in healthy fish, which may be used in future experiments including screening these baselines against the effects of novel aquafeed formulations, environmental perturbations or pathogenic challenges.
Supervisor: Crumlish, Margaret ; Turnbull, James F. ; Dawson, Karl A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.698507  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Rainbow trout ; Gut microbiota ; Microbiome ; Aquaculture ; 16S rRNA ; Rainbow trout--Microbiology
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