Deciphering microbial landscapes of fish eggs to mitigate emerging diseases

Yiying Liu, Irene de Bruijn, Allison Lh Jack, Keith Drynan, Albert H van den Berg, Even Thoen, Vladimir Sandoval-Sierra, Ida Skaar, Pieter van West, Javier Diéguez-Uribeondo, Menno van der Voort, Rodrigo Mendes, Mark Mazzola, Jos M Raaijmakers

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Animals and plants are increasingly suffering from diseases caused by fungi and oomycetes. These emerging pathogens are now recognized as a global threat to biodiversity and food security. Among oomycetes, Saprolegnia species cause significant declines in fish and amphibian populations. Fish eggs have an immature adaptive immune system and depend on nonspecific innate defences to ward off pathogens. Here, meta-taxonomic analyses revealed that Atlantic salmon eggs are home to diverse fungal, oomycete and bacterial communities. Although virulent Saprolegnia isolates were found in all salmon egg samples, a low incidence of Saprolegniosis was strongly correlated with a high richness and abundance of specific commensal Actinobacteria, with the genus Frondihabitans (Microbacteriaceae) effectively inhibiting attachment of Saprolegniato salmon eggs. These results highlight that fundamental insights into microbial landscapes of fish eggs may provide new sustainable means to mitigate emerging diseases.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 27 March 2014; doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.44.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2002-2014
Number of pages13
JournalThe ISME Journal
Issue number10
Early online date27 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

We are grateful to Menno ter Veld and Geert Wiegertjes (Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, The Netherlands) for their advice, help and valuable suggestions for the in vivo experiments. We thank the Laboratory of Jean Beagle Ristraino (North Carolina State University, USA) for the provision of genomic DNA extraction protocol for oomycete isolates. We thank Viviane Cordovez da Cunha (Wageningen University) for her help in culturing and characterization of Actinobacteria. This work was financially supported by SAPRO (Sustainable Approaches to Reduce Oomycete (Saprolegnia) Infections in Aquaculture), a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded by the European Commission (EC) under Framework Program 7. Javier Diéguez-Uribeondo was supported by grant of MINECO CGL2012-39357. PhyloChip hybridizations and initial data analyses were performed at Second Genome, CA, USA. This manuscript is publication number 5586 of Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW).


  • salmon
  • saprolegniosis
  • actinobacteria
  • microbiome
  • emerging pathogens


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