Aquaculture for all

Probiotics Enhancing Gut Performance


CANADA - Remarks by Daniel Merrifield, Plymouth University, United Kingdom, during the aquaculture breakout session at the 2016 World Nutrition Forum in Vancouver, Canada.

The fish microbiome

The microbiome is the totality of the microbiota and their genes in a given environment. The study of the composition and dynamics of the microbiome of humans and other animal hosts has been made possible by the development of high-throughput sequencing technologies and associated bioinformatics. These studies have revealed that an organism’s microbiome, through cross-talk and various interactions at the mucosal surfaces, plays key roles in regulating host development, digestive function, homeostasis, metabolism, welfare, behavior and health. Despite a plethora of studies available (for review see Llewellyn et al., 2014, Romero et al., 2014), our knowledge of the composition and relevance of the microbiomes of fish is primitive in comparison to that of humans and other mammals, where it is increasingly clear that the microbiome is intimately involved in multiple aspects of both nutrition and health (Thavagnanam et al., 2008, Cani and Delzenne, 2009).