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Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 25;6:19707. doi: 10.1038/srep19707.

Transition from freshwater to seawater reshapes the skin-associated microbiota of Atlantic salmon.

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Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, Nord University, 8049 Bodø, Nordland, Norway.


Knowledge concerning shifts in microbiota is important in order to elucidate the perturbations in the mucosal barrier during the transitional life stages of the host. In the present study, a 16S rRNA gene sequencing technique was employed to examine the compositional changes and presumptive functions of the skin-associated bacterial communities of Atlantic salmon reared under controlled laboratory conditions and transferred from freshwater to seawater. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in salmon from both freshwater (45%) and seawater (above 89%). Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Cyanobacteria and Verrucomicrobia were the most abundant phyla in salmon from freshwater. The transition to seawater influenced the OTU richness and evenness. The high abundance (~62%) of the genus Oleispira made Proteobacteria the most significantly abundant phylum in salmon from seawater. The predictive functional profile suggested that the communities had the ability to extract energy from amino acids in order to maintain their metabolism and scavenge and biosynthesise compounds to make structural changes and carry out signalling for their survival. These findings need to be further explored in relation to metabolic processes, the fish genotype, and the environment.

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