A great collaboration with INVE aquaculture, Benchmark’s Advanced Nutrition group, and Jasmine Heyse (PhD candidate at CMET) resulted in novel insights into the way microbial communities assemble, and are influenced by artemia-, algae-, and dry feed-associated microbiomes, in shrimp hatchery systems.
In this study, we found that the microbial community assembly in the hatchery rearing water over time was dominated by stochastic effects. This demonstrates that random fluctuations in growth and death of bacterial species cause microbiomes in identical shrimp tanks to become more dissimilar over time. Two major shifts in microbial community structure that were tightly coupled to the abundance of Chaetoceros algae were observed. Using a newly developed source tracking algorithm we could quantify that 37% of all bacteria in the hatchery rearing water were introduced either by the live or dry feeds, or during water exchanges. The contribution of the microbiome from the algae was the largest, followed by that of the Artemia, the exchange water and the dry feeds.
These findings have significantly improved our fundamental knowledge on the assembly processes and dynamics of rearing water microbiomes and illustrate the crucial role of the peripheral microbiomes in maintaining health-promoting rearing water microbiomes.