Bacterial biota of shrimp intestine is significantly modified by the use of a probiotic mixture: a high throughput sequencing approach

Francisco Vargas-Albores, Marco A. Porchas-Cornejo, Marcel Martínez-Porchas*, Enrique Villalpando-Canchola, Teresa Gollas-Galván, Luis R. Martínez-Córdova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The use of probiotics is a common practice of current shrimp aquaculture. Despite the immunophysiological responses that have been measured in shrimp exposed to probiotics, no information is currently available on the effect of this practice on the intestinal microbiota. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of a probiotic mixture on the intestinal microbiota of shrimp cultured under farm conditions. A culture-independent method based on high-throughput-sequencing (16S rRNA) was used to examine intestinal bacterial communities. A traditional system (without probiotics) was used as the reference. Targeted metagenomics analysis revealed that the probiotic mixture was based on bacteria in the phyla Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. A total of 23 species of bacteria were detected in the probiotic mixture; of these, 11 were detected in the intestine of shrimp reared in both systems, and 12 were novel for the system. Eight of the novel species were detected in shrimp cultured with the probiotic mixture; however, none of these novel species were related to marine or inclusively aquacultural environments, and only one (Bacillus subtilis) was recognized as probiotic for shrimp. The use of the probiotic mixture modified the bacterial profile of the shrimp intestine; however, most of the bacteria incorporated into the intestine were nonindigenous to the marine environment with no previous evidence of probiotic effects on any marine organism. The use of this probiotic mixture may represent a risk of causing environmental imbalances, particularly because farms using these types of probiotic mixtures discharge their effluents directly into the ocean without prior treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalHelgoland Marine Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

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  • Aquaculture
  • Bacterial diversity
  • Intestinal microbiota
  • Metagenomics
  • Probiotics


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