Microbiome pattern and diversity of an anadromous fish, hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha)

Sabuj Biswas, Md Javed Foysal, Adnan Mannan, Sm Sharifuzzaman, Afsana Yeasmin Tanzina, Afroza Akter Tanni, Farjana Sharmen, Md Mobarok Hossain, M. Shah Nawaz Chowdhury, Alfred Chin Yen Tay, S. M.Rafiqul Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The host-microbe interactions are complex, dynamic and context-dependent. In this regard, migratory fish species like hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha), which migrates from seawater to freshwater for spawning, provides a unique system for investigating the microbiome under an additional change in fish’s habitat. This work was undertaken to detect taxonomic variation of microbiome and their function in the migration of hilsa. Methods and results: The study employed 16S rRNA amplicon-based metagenomic analysis to scrutinize bacterial diversity in hilsa gut, skin mucus and water. Thus, a total of 284 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), 9 phyla, 35 orders and 121 genera were identified in all samples. More than 60% of the identified bacteria were Proteobacteria with modest abundance (> 5%) of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. Leucobacter in gut and Serratia in skin mucus were the core bacterial genera, while Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and Psychrobacter exhibited differential compositions in gut, skin mucus and water. Conclusions: Representative fresh-, brackish- and seawater samples of hilsa habitats were primarily composed of Vibrio, Serratia and Psychrobacter, and their diversity in seawater was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than freshwater. Overall, salinity and water microbiota had an influence on the microbial composition of hilsa shad, contributing to host metabolism and adaptation processes. This pioneer exploration of hilsa gut and skin mucus bacteria across habitats will advance our insights into microbiome assembly in migratory fish populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Biology Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Dec 2023


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