Promotie

Microbial interactions in the fish gut

Short summary of content/significance

PhD thesis entitled: “Microbial interactions in the fish gut”

Aquaculture has realized considerable growth over the past years while the world demand on seafood has been increasing. As aquaculture intensifies, the production sector needs to tackle major bottlenecks related to suboptimal growth and high and unpredictable mortality, especially in larval cultures.
Fish-microbe interactions are closely related to overall fish health. Innate immune response and nutrient metabolism depend on microorganisms that colonize the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms of microbial colonization in the fish gut, which will lead to a healthy and resilient microbial community (MC) and thus contribute to fish health.
The goal of this thesis was to investigate the role of water and feed microbial communities on shaping gut communities during early development of fish. Overall, this thesis provided fundamental knowledge on MC composition and development in aquaculture rearing systems, gut microbial dynamics, early life imprinting and the potential of probiotic use in aquaculture. We laid down a solid basis for facilitating the development of safe and effective methods for manipulating gut microbial composition to promote fish health in aquaculture rearing systems.