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Microb Ecol. 2011 Jan;61(1):20-30. doi: 10.1007/s00248-010-9673-y. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Changes in the intestinal microbiota of wild Atlantic cod Gadus morhua L. upon captive rearing.

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Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, Bodø University College, 8049, Bodø, Norway.


The commensal microbiota plays an important role in the well-being of the host organism, and it would be worthwhile to know the tenacious communities among them. Therefore, a study was undertaken to examine the changes in constitution of the intestinal microbiota of wild fish consequential to captivity. At first, the composition of intestinal microorganisms of Atlantic cod caught from the coastal area off Bodø, Norway, was examined. Thereafter, the changes in the bacterial community of the captive fish after offering them artificial feed or subjecting them to starvation were studied. The microbiota from the intestinal contents and wall segments were analyzed quantitatively by spread plate technique and DAPI staining and qualitatively by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The study revealed that the counts of intestinal microbes in wild-caught Atlantic cod were not affected by captive rearing for 6 weeks, either when fed or when starved. However, the diversity of intestinal bacterial community was reduced in response to artificial feeding, whereas the change was restricted upon starvation.

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