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AEI 11:31-39 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00297

Atlantic salmon raised with diets low in long-chain polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids in freshwater have a Mycoplasma-dominated gut microbiota at sea

Yang Jin1,3, Inga Leena Angell2, Simen Rød Sandve3, Lars Gustav Snipen2, Yngvar Olsen1, Knut Rudi2,*

1Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
2Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science, University of Life Sciences, 1430 Ås, Norway
3Centre for Integrative Genetics, Department for Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences, University of Life Sciences, 1430 Ås, Norway
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Factors affecting the establishment of the gut microbiota in animals living in marine environments remain largely unknown. In terrestrial animals, however, it is well established that the juvenile environment has a major impact on the gut microbiota later in life. Atlantic salmon Salmo salar is an anadromous fish important in aquaculture with a juvenile freshwater stage and an adult seawater stage. For wild salmon, there are major dietary changes with respect to availability of long-chain polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids (LC-n-3 PUFA) with lower abundance in freshwater systems. The aim of our work was therefore to determine the effect of a juvenile freshwater diet with high LC-n-3 PUFA, as compared to a diet low in LC-n-3 PUFA (designed to increase the endogenous LC-n-3 PUFA production), on the transition to a seawater gut microbiota for Atlantic salmon. We found a juvenile freshwater microbiota high in Firmicutes for fish raised with low LC-n-3 PUFA, while the microbiota for fish given high LC-n-3 PUFA feed was high in Proteobacteria. One hundred days after transfer to a common sea cage, fish that were given low LC-n-3 PUFA diets in freshwater showed significantly higher (p = 0.02, Kruskal-Wallis) Mycoplasma content (90 ± 7%; mean ± SD) compared to fish raised on a high LC-n-3 PUFA diet in freshwater (25 ± 31% Mycoplasma). Shotgun metagenome sequencing from fish raised with a low LC-n-3 PUFA diet identified a salmon-associated Mycoplasma in sea, being distinct from currently known Mycoplasma. The genome sequence information indicated a mutualistic lifestyle of this bacterium. Mycoplasma has also previously been identified as dominant (>70%) in sea-living adult Atlantic salmon. Taken together, our results suggest that the juvenile freshwater diet influences the establishment of the gut microbiota in marine Atlantic salmon.


KEY WORDS: LC-n-3 PUFA · Marine stage · Freshwater stage · qPCR · 16S rRNA-metagenome


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Cite this article as: Jin Y, Angell IL, Sandve SR, Snipen LG, Olsen Y, Rudi K (2019) Atlantic salmon raised with diets low in long-chain polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids in freshwater have a Mycoplasma-dominated gut microbiota at sea. Aquacult Environ Interact 11:31-39. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00297

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