Longitudinal variations in the gastrointestinal microbiome of the white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei

Estefanía Garibay-Valdez, Francesco Cicala, Marcel Martinez-Porchas*, Ricardo Gómez-Reyes, Francisco Vargas-Albores, Teresa Gollas-Galván, Luis Rafael Martínez-Córdova, Kadiya Calderón

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The shrimp gut is a long digestive structure that includes the Foregut (stomach), Midgut (hepatopancreas) and Hindgut (intestine). Each component has different structural, immunity and digestion roles. Given these three gut digestive tract components’ significance, we examined the bacterial compositions of the Foregut, Hindgut, and Midgut digestive fractions. Those bacterial communities’ structures were evaluated by sequencing the V3 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene, while the functions were predicted by PICRUSt2 bioinformatics workflow. Also, to avoid contamination with environmental bacteria, shrimp were maintained under strictly controlled conditions. The pairwise differential abundance analysis revealed differences among digestive tract fractions. The families Rhodobacteraceae and Rubritalaceae registered higher abundances in the Foregut fraction, while in the Midgut, the families with a higher proportion were Aeromonadaceae, Beijerinckiaceae and Propionibacteriaceae. Finally, the Cellulomonadaceae family resulted in a higher proportion in the Hindgut. Regarding the predicted functions, amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism pathways were the primary functions registered for Foregut microbiota; conversely, pathways associated with the metabolism of lipids, terpenoids and polyketides, were detected in the Midgut fraction. In the Hindgut, pathways like the metabolism of cofactors and vitamins along with energy metabolism were enriched. Structural changes were followed by significant alterations in functional capabilities, suggesting that each fraction’s bacteria communities may carry out specific metabolic functions. Results indicate that white shrimp’s gut microbiota is widely related to the fraction analyzed across the digestive tract. Overall, our results suggest a role for the dominant bacteria in each digestive tract fraction, contributing with a novel insight into the bacterial community.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11827
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Garibay-Valdez et al.


  • Crustacean gut
  • Crustacean microbiome
  • Foregut microbiota
  • Gastrointestinal microbiota
  • Gut fractions
  • Gut microbiota
  • Hindgut microbiota
  • Intestinal microbes
  • Midgut microbiota


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