Succession of embryonic and the intestinal bacterial communities of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) reveals stage-specific microbial signatures

Jep Lokesh, Viswanath Kiron*, Detmer Sipkema, Jorge M.O. Fernandes, Truls Moum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Host-associated microbiota undergoes a continuous transition, from the birth to adulthood of the host. These developmental stage-related transitions could lead to specific microbial signatures that could impact the host biological processes. In this study, the succession of early-life and intestinal bacterial communities of Atlantic salmon (starting from embryonic stages to 80-week post hatch; wph) was studied using amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA. Stage-specific bacterial community compositions and the progressive transitions of the communities were evident in both the early life and the intestine. The embryonic communities showed lower richness and diversity (Shannon and PD whole tree) compared to the hatchlings. A marked transition of the intestinal communities also occurred during the development; Proteobacteria were dominant in the early stages (both embryonic and intestinal), though the abundant genera under this phylum were stage-specific. Firmicutes were the most abundant group in the intestine of late freshwater; Weissella being the dominant genus at 20 wph and Anaerofilum at 62 wph. Proteobacteria regained its dominance after the fish entered seawater. Furthermore, LEfSe analysis identified genera under the above - mentioned phyla that are significant features of specific stages. The environmental (water) bacterial community was significantly different from that of the fish, indicating that the host is a determinant of microbial assemblage. Overall the study demonstrated the community dynamics during the development of Atlantic salmon.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00672
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • amplicon sequencing
  • Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)
  • developmental stages
  • intestine
  • microbiome


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