Dynamic gill and mucus microbiomes during a gill disease episode in farmed Atlantic salmon
Birlanga, Victor B.
Ijaz, Umer Z.
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Amoebic gill disease (AGD) and complex gill disease (CGD) are recurrent gill disorders in Atlantic salmon, resulting in significant aquaculture losses. The role of gill microbiomes in gill disease development is unclear. We undertook a longitudinal study to characterise the gill tissue and gill mucus microbiomes of farmed Atlantic salmon before, and during, a gill disease episode. Using a newly optimised DNA extraction protocol, we sequenced rRNA genes from microbiomes of gill samples taken from 105 individual salmon on a farm, over a summer season. The AGD aetiological agent, Neoparamoeba perurans, was PCR-quantified targeting 18S rRNA genes. Similar analyses were carried out on mucus samples. Mucus scrapings were suitable, non-lethal substitutes for characterisation of the gill prokaryotic community in this study. Gill tissue and gill mucus microbiomes changed during the campaign, correlating with N. perurans concentrations. Time explained 35% of the gill tissue and gill mucus microbiome variance, while N. perurans concentrations explained 5%. Genera including Dyadobacter, Shewanella and Pedobacter were maximally abundant in gill and mucus samples at the timepoint prior to the the detection of gill disorder signs, at T3. Shewanella was significantly more abundant before than during the gill disease episode, and we suggest this genus could be considered in future studies addressing relationships between gill disease and the gill microbiome.
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