Effect of Dietary Carbohydrate-to-Protein Ratio on Gut Microbiota in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar)

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is a carnivorous fish species whose productive performance tends to be suboptimal when fed low-cost carbohydrate rich meals. It is of interest to study the dynamics of gut microbiota communities in salmonids fed high carbohydrate diets since gut microbes are referred to as key players that influence the metabolism and physiology of the host. A study was conducted to determine the effect of feeding a high carbohydrate diet to Atlantic salmon in gut microbiota communities. A medium carbohydrate (15% wheat starch)/medium protein (MC/MP) diet or a high carbohydrate (30% wheat starch)/low protein (HC/LP) diet was fed to triplicate tanks (28 fish each) during four weeks. We conducted an in-depth characterization of the distal intestine digesta microbiota using high-throughput sequencing of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria were the major phyla determined in either experimental group. Phylum Planctomycetes, class Planctomycetia, order Planctomycetales and genus Lactococcus were significantly more abundant in fish fed the HC/LP diet compared with fish fed the MC/MP diet. Our study suggests feeding a carbohydrate rich meal to salmon exerts a low impact on the structure of gut microbial communities, affecting mostly low-abundance bacteria capable of metabolizing anaerobically carbohydrates as a major energy-yielding substrate.

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