AEI 8:147-155 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00169

Protective effects of sea cucumber surface-associated bacteria against Vibrio harveyi in brown-marbled grouper fingerlings

Norfarrah Mohamed Alipiah1,*, Nur Hasli Syahidda Ramli1, Chen-Fei Low1, Mariana Nor Shamsudin1,2, Fatimah Md. Yusoff1,3

1Laboratory of Marine Biotechnology, Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3Department of Aquaculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Brown-marbled grouper Epinephelus fuscoguttatus (Forsskål) fingerlings are more vulnerable to diseases than the adult grouper because the fingerlings’ adaptive immune system is still in the development stage. The mortality rates are approximately 20 to 70% during outbreaks of vibriosis in aquacultures of grouper fingerlings. Studies were conducted to identify alternative treatments with low impacts on humans, animals and the environment as well as treatments that minimize the use of antibiotics in aquaculture. In this study, we report the first use of surface-associated bacteria isolated from marine invertebrates to increase fingerlings’ resistance against infections. Twenty-two surface-associated bacteria were isolated from the sea cucumber Stichopus badionotus and were identified with 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Three of the surface-associated bacteria had inhibitory activities against pathogenic Vibrio harveyi and V. parahaemolyticus. The fingerlings treated with the surface-associated bacteria Exiguobacterium acetylicum for 12 d prior to the challenge experiment with pathogenic V. harveyi showed significantly higher survival rates and increases in antibody titres compared to the control group. This study illustrats a symbiotic interaction between E. acetylicum and grouper fingerlings. E. acetylicum colonized the scales of grouper fingerlings and enhanced the fish’s immune response against the pathogen V. harveyi.


KEY WORDS: Epinephelus fuscoguttatus · Surface-associated bacteria · Surface colonizer · Symbiotic relation · Bacterial attachment · Bio-control · Marine bacteria · Immune response


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Cite this article as: Mohamed Alipiah N, Ramli NHS, Low CF, Shamsudin MN, Yusoff FM (2016) Protective effects of sea cucumber surface-associated bacteria against Vibrio harveyi in brown-marbled grouper fingerlings. Aquacult Environ Interact 8:147-155. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00169

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