Noni Fruit Boosts Shrimp Defense Against Bacterial Infection

Jenn Hoskins
10th March, 2024

Noni Fruit Boosts Shrimp Defense Against Bacterial Infection

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In Malaysia, noni fruit extract improved shrimp survival against a harmful bacterium
  • Shrimp fed the highest noni extract dose had the best survival rates
  • The extract also boosted shrimp digestive health and reduced organ damage
Shrimp farming is a vital industry globally, providing a significant source of protein to many people. However, the industry faces challenges, particularly diseases that can devastate shrimp populations. One such disease is caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacterium that can lead to severe losses in shrimp farms. Addressing this issue, researchers from Curtin University Malaysia have explored a novel approach using Morinda citrifolia, commonly known as noni fruit, to boost the immune system of shrimp, specifically Penaeus vannamei, a species widely cultivated in aquaculture[1]. The study investigated the effects of M. citrifolia fruit extract on the immunity of shrimp postlarvae (young shrimp) against V. parahaemolyticus infection. The researchers prepared the extract and identified its bioactive compounds using sophisticated analytical techniques. They found 45 bioactive compounds, with cyclononasiloxane and octadecamethyl being the most abundant. These compounds are thought to play a role in enhancing the shrimp's immune response. For the experiment, shrimp postlarvae were fed diets supplemented with varying concentrations of M. citrifolia extract for 30 days. After this period, they were exposed to V. parahaemolyticus for 24 hours. The survival rates of shrimp fed with the extract were higher compared to those in the control group, with the best results seen in shrimp given the highest concentration of the extract (50 mg/g), which showed a survival increase of 7.1-26.7%. Interestingly, the study also observed changes in the shrimp's digestive and antioxidant enzyme activities. While most of these activities were reduced after exposure to the bacterium, lipase levels and the health of hepatopancreatic E-cells (cells in the digestive gland of shrimp) increased. This suggests that the noni fruit extract may help maintain better digestive function and cellular health in the face of infection. A closer look at the shrimp's hepatopancreas, the organ most affected by V. parahaemolyticus, showed less cell degeneration in those fed with the M. citrifolia extract, especially at the highest concentration. This aligns with previous research[2] that found the use of plant extracts, such as Pandanus tectorius, could enhance shrimp tolerance to V. parahaemolyticus by boosting immune-related proteins and reducing tissue damage. The findings from Curtin University Malaysia contribute to a growing body of evidence suggesting that plant-based supplements can play a role in managing shrimp health and disease[3]. The gut microbiome, a community of microbes living in the digestive systems of shrimp, is known to influence their health and immunity. By altering the gut microbiome through dietary supplements like M. citrifolia extract, it's possible to enhance the shrimp's natural defenses against pathogens. Additionally, this research supports the concept of using biofilm-based products, such as those derived from Vibrio harveyi, to stimulate the immune system of shrimp[4]. These strategies offer alternatives to antibiotics, which can lead to resistant bacteria and have negative environmental impacts. In the context of AHPND, a devastating disease caused by V. parahaemolyticus, understanding the shrimp's response at the molecular level is crucial[5]. The use of M. citrifolia and its impact on enzyme activity and hepatopancreas health may also influence the expression of genes involved in the shrimp's immune and metabolic pathways, potentially offering a way to mitigate the effects of AHPND. In summary, the research from Curtin University Malaysia provides promising evidence that M. citrifolia fruit extract can enhance the immune response of Penaeus vannamei shrimp to V. parahaemolyticus infection. By improving the health of the hepatopancreas and influencing enzyme activity, the extract may offer a natural and sustainable way to protect shrimp against disease, which could be a significant advancement for the aquaculture industry.

FruitsHealthMarine Biology


Main Study

1) Morinda citrifolia fruit extract enhances the resistance of Penaeus vannamei to Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection.

Published 7th March, 2024

Related Studies

2) Pandanus tectorius fruit extract promotes Hsp70 accumulation, immune-related genes expression and Vibrio parahaemolyticus tolerance in the white-leg shrimp Penaeus vannamei.

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

4) Vibrio harveyi biofilm as immunostimulant candidate for high-health pacific white shrimp, Penaeus vannamei farming.

5) Transcriptomic analysis of Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei, Boone 1931) in response to acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

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