In this study, we identified and enumerated alginate-degrading bacteria in the gut of abalone over 1-year period. From a total of 360 colonies growing on agar medium enriched with alginate, 251 isolates (70%) had the ability to degrade alginate. In addition, a high number of viable alginate-degrading bacteria were detected throughout the survey period. Alginate-degrading bacteria were more abundant in the cold season relative to the summer season (107 vs. 104 CFU g-1, respectively). Strong positive correlation was also observed between the number of alginate-degrading bacteria and feed intake (R = 0.854; P < 0.01). The identified alginate-degrading bacteria comprised of 35 species grouped into 11 genera including Algibacter, Formosa, Polarybacter, Tamlana, Tenacibaculum (CFB group), Roseobacter, Ruegeria, Silicibacter (α-proteobacteria), Agarivorans, Shewanella and Vibrio (γ-proteobacteria) respectively. More than 80% of the isolated alginate-degrading bacteria belonged to the genus Vibrio, showing high homology to Vibrio cyclotorophicus, Vibrio splendidus, Vibrio halioticoli and Vibrio neonatus. Based on the results, it was suggested that algal-polysaccharide (alginate) degrading bacteria (mainly Vibrio) commonly exist in the gut of abalone and may play an important role in the degradation and digestion of the host's feed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science