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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2016 Jul 15;82(15):4470-4481. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00902-16. Print 2016 Aug 1.

Influence of Fishmeal-Free Diets on Microbial Communities in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) Recirculation Aquaculture Systems.

Author information

1
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
2
Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA.
3
Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA amaral@mbl.edu c.good@freshwaterinstitute.org.
4
Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.
5
The Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, USA.
6
The Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, USA amaral@mbl.edu c.good@freshwaterinstitute.org.

Abstract

Reliance on fishmeal as a primary protein source is among the chief economic and environmental concerns in aquaculture today. Fishmeal-based feeds often require harvest from wild fish stocks, placing pressure on natural ecosystems and causing price instability. Alternative diet formulations without the use of fishmeal provide a potential solution to this challenge. Although the impact of alternative diets on fish performance, intestinal inflammation, palatability, and gut microbiota has been a topic of recent interest, less is known about how alternative feeds impact the aquaculture environment as a whole. The recent focus on recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and the closed-containment approach to raising food fish highlights the need to maintain stable environmental and microbiological conditions within a farm environment. Microbial stability in RAS biofilters is particularly important, given its role in nutrient processing and water quality in these closed systems. If and how the impacts of alternative feeds on microbial communities in fish translate into changes to the biofilters are not known. We tested the influence of a fishmeal-free diet on the microbial communities in RAS water, biofilters, and salmon microbiomes using high-throughput 16S rRNA gene V6 hypervariable region amplicon sequencing. We grew Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) to market size in six replicate RAS tanks, three with traditional fishmeal diets and three with alternative-protein, fishmeal-free diets. We sampled intestines and gills from market-ready adult fish, water, and biofilter medium in each corresponding RAS unit. Our results provide data on how fish diet influences the RAS environment and corroborate previous findings that diet has a clear influence on the microbiome structure of the salmon intestine, particularly within the order Lactobacillales (lactic acid bacteria). We conclude that the strong stability of taxa likely involved in water quality processing regardless of diet (e.g., Nitrospira) may further alleviate concerns regarding the use of alternative feeds in RAS operations.

IMPORTANCE:

The growth of the aquaculture industry has outpaced terrestrial livestock production and wild-capture fisheries for over 2 decades, currently producing nearly 50% of all seafood consumed globally. As wild-capture fisheries continue to decline, aquaculture's role in food production will grow, and it will produce an estimated 62% of all seafood consumed in 2020. A significant environmental concern of the industry is the reliance on fishmeal as a primary feed ingredient, as its production still requires harvest from wild fisheries. Our study adds to the growing body of literature on the feasibility of alternative, fishmeal-free diets. Specifically, we asked how fishmeal-free diets influence microbial communities in recirculating salmon farms. Unlike previous studies, we extended our investigation beyond the microbiome of the fish itself and asked how alterative diets influence microbial communities in water and critical biofilter habitats. We found no evidence for adverse effects of alternative diets on any microbial habitat within the farm.

PMID:
27129964
PMCID:
PMC4984271
DOI:
10.1128/AEM.00902-16
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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