Atlantic salmon raised with diets low in long-chain polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids in freshwater have a Mycoplasma-dominated gut microbiota at sea
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAquaculture Environment Interactions. 2019, 11 31-39. https://doi.org/10.3354/aei00297
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.