Exploring the Gut Bacteria of Farmed Shrimp in Indoor Facilities

Jim Crocker
22nd February, 2024

Exploring the Gut Bacteria of Farmed Shrimp in Indoor Facilities

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

In the bustling world of shrimp aquaculture, the health of these tiny crustaceans is paramount. A recent study by the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences[1] has shed new light on how the environment and developmental stages of shrimp affect their gut bacteria—a key player in their overall health and growth. The gut of a shrimp is not just a digestive chamber but a complex ecosystem teeming with bacteria that influence the shrimp's immunity and physiology. This study focused on the Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, a species that's as commercially important as it is fascinating. Researchers looked at how different factors—like the shrimp's age, health, water temperature, and light intensity—shape the bacterial communities in their guts. What they found was a colorful mosaic of bacterial diversity. Unlike the water they lived in, which had a more uniform bacterial makeup, the shrimp's gut was a melting pot of microbes. Adult shrimp, especially the healthy ones, and those raised in warmer water (28 °C) or under bright light, had more Vibrionaceae bacteria in their guts. These are the same bacteria that have been linked to stimulating shrimp immunity in previous studies[2]. On the flip side, juvenile shrimp and those in cooler or dimmer conditions had more Pseudoalteromonadaceae, a different bacterial family. Interestingly, the study also noted that juvenile shrimp were more prone to bacterial infections than adults. This suggests that as shrimp grow, their gut bacteria develop in ways that might help shield them from disease. It's a finding that resonates with earlier research[3], which highlighted the importance of the environment in shaping the gut microbiota and, consequently, the health of the shrimp. The study's insights extend beyond just the shrimp's gut. They underscore the importance of managing farming conditions to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. For instance, maintaining water temperatures at 28 °C and ensuring high light intensity were recommended for healthier shrimp with better gut bacteria. This aligns with the idea that manipulating the gut microbiome could be a sustainable alternative to antibiotics in aquaculture[4]. The methods used in this study were sophisticated yet essential for understanding the complex interactions within the shrimp's gut. PCoA analysis, a statistical tool, helped the researchers visualize the differences in bacterial communities across various samples. This analysis painted a clear picture: the environment and the shrimp's developmental stage have a profound impact on their gut bacteria. The findings of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences not only build upon previous studies[2][3][4] but also offer practical guidelines for shrimp farming. By adjusting environmental factors like temperature and light, farmers can potentially foster a gut microbiome that supports shrimp health and productivity. This research is a step toward more sustainable and disease-resistant shrimp aquaculture, ensuring that these small creatures can continue to thrive in their aquatic farms.

Marine Biology


Main Study

1) Profile of the gut microbiota of Pacific white shrimp under industrial indoor farming system.

Published 20th February, 2024


Related Studies

2) Metagenomics in bioflocs and their effects on gut microbiome and immune responses in Pacific white shrimp.


3) Environmental Water and Sediment Microbial Communities Shape Intestine Microbiota for Host Health: The Central Dogma in an Anthropogenic Aquaculture Ecosystem.


4) Understanding the role of the shrimp gut microbiome in health and disease.


Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙