Investigating host-gut microbial relationship in Penaeus monodon upon exposure to Vibrio harveyi

Pacharaporn Angthong, Tanaporn Uengwetwanit, Umaporn Uawisetwathana, Jasper J. Koehorst, Sopacha Arayamethakorn, Peter J. Schaap, Vitor Martins Dos Santos, Metavee Phromson, Nitsara Karoonuthaisiri, Sage Chaiyapechara, Wanilada Rungrassamee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


To understand the host-gut microbial relationship, we used multidisciplinary platforms, metagenome, transcriptome, and metabolome analyses, to determine shrimp and intestinal microbial interactions upon 0, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h exposure to 107 CFU/mL of Vibrio harveyi, a shrimp pathogen. The bacterial communities in the intestine of shrimp were disrupted during exposure to V. harveyi. The abundance of Vibrio ASVs in the Harveyi and Vulnificus clades was significantly increased after exposure to the pathogen (6, 12, and 24 h) and decreased later after 48 h. Conversely, Pseudoalteromonas was found in lower abundance (6, 12, and 24 h) but significantly increased after 48 h of the bacterial challenge. Gene expression analysis revealed that genes belonging to several immune-related pathways, including the Toll pathway, the immune deficiency (IMD) pathway, and pattern recognition proteins (PRPs), were significantly upregulated. Early responses in the first 6 h after exposure were the genes involved in phagocytosis, pattern recognition proteins (PRPs), and signal transduction (spätzle and ankyrin). Late responses (12–48 h) were genes related to proteinases and proteinase inhibitors (PPIs), antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), and oxidative stress. Genes related to lipid metabolisms such as fatty acid metabolism and choline metabolism were also upregulated. Metabolomics analysis also showed an increase in phospholipids, including phosphocholine groups, in the intestine of shrimp exposed to the pathogen. Taken together, the gene expression and metabolomics analyses suggest the importance of lipid metabolism in the defense mechanism against bacterial invasion. Moreover, our metabolomic analysis showed a decrease in tryptophan and indole-3-acrylic acid, metabolites related to intestinal immune homeostasis, after bacterial infection. Our observations suggest that pathogenic Vibrio disrupted biological processes in the shrimp intestine, resulting in a decrease in indole-3-acrylic acid and its derivatives which in turn compromised intestinal immunity. In addition, shrimp responded to the bacterial invasion by activating metabolites related to eicosanoid and phospholipid biosynthesis. Our findings on the interactions between shrimp and intestinal microbiota will be an indispensable gateway to systems biology to better understand the function of shrimp gut microbiota and its influence on shrimp innate immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number739252
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2023


  • Host-gut microbial relationship
  • Metabolome
  • Microbiome
  • Pathogen exposure
  • Shrimp
  • Transcriptome


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