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Microbial diversity within the water column of a larval rearing system for the ornate rock lobster (Panulirus ornatus)

, : Microbial diversity within the water column of a larval rearing system for the ornate rock lobster (Panulirus ornatus). Aquaculture 258(1-4): 80-90

The ornate tropical rock lobster, Panulirus ornatus has substantial potential as an aquaculture species though disease outbreaks during the animal's extended larval lifecycle are major constraints for success. In order to effectively address such disease-related issues, an improved understanding of the composition and dynamics of the microbial communities in the larval rearing tanks is required. This study used flow cytometry and molecular microbial techniques (clone libraries and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)) to quantify and characterise the microbial community of the water column in the early stages (developmental stage I-II) of a P. ornatus larval rearing system. DGGE analysis of a 5000 L larval rearing trial demonstrated a dynamic microbial community with distinct changes in the community structure after initial stocking (day 1 to day 2) and from day 4 to day 5, after which the structure was relatively stable. Flow cytometry analysis of water samples taken over the duration of the trial demonstrated a major increase in bacterial load leading up to and peaking on the first day of the initial larval moult (day 7), before markedly decreasing prior to when > 50% of larvae moulted (day 9). A clone library of a day 10 water sample taken following a mass larval mortality event reflected high microbial diversity confirmed by statistical analysis indices. Sequences retrieved from both clone library and DGGE analyses were dominated by (Sd(B- and (Sa(B-Proteobacteria affiliated organisms with additional sequences affiliated with (Sb(B- and (Sf(B-Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cytophagales and Chlamydiales groups. Vibrio affiliated species were commonly retrieved in the clone library, though absent from DGGE analysis.


DOI: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2006.04.001

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