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Bacterial Signatures of "Red-Operculum" Disease in the Gut of Crucian Carp (Carassius auratus)

Update time: 10/10/2017

Fish gut microbiota play important roles in fish immunity, nutrition, and the adaptation to environmental changes. To date, few studies have focused on the interactions among environmental factors, fish diseases, and gut microbiota compositions. We compared the gut bacterial communities of healthy crucian carps (Carassius auratus) with those of individuals affected by "red-operculum" disease and corresponding water and sediment microbiota in four fish farm ponds. Distinct gut bacterial communities were observed in healthy and diseased fish. The bacterial communities of diseased fish were less diverse and stable than those of healthy individuals. The differences in bacterial community compositions between diseased and healthy fish were explained by the changes in the relative abundances of some specific bacterial OTUs, which belonged to the genera such as Vibrio, Aeromonas, and Shewanella, and they were prevalent in diseased fish, but rare or even absent in environmental samples. Water temperature and ammonia concentration were the two most important environmental factors that impacted gut microbiota in diseased fish. These results highlighted the surge of some potential pathogens as bacterial signatures that were associated with "red-operculum" disease in crucian carps.