Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 8, pp 3701–3709 | Cite as

Intestinal bacterial signatures of white feces syndrome in shrimp

  • Dongwei Hou
  • Zhijian Huang
  • Shenzheng Zeng
  • Jian Liu
  • Dongdong Wei
  • Xisha Deng
  • Shaoping Weng
  • Qingyun Yan
  • Jianguo He
Applied genetics and molecular biotechnology


Increasing evidence suggests that the intestinal microbiota is closely correlated with the host’s health status. Thus, a serious disturbance that disrupts the stability of the intestinal microecosystem could cause host disease. Shrimps are one of the most important products among fishery trading commodities. However, digestive system diseases, such as white feces syndrome (WFS), frequently occur in shrimp culture and have led to enormous economic losses across the world. The WFS occurrences are unclear. Here, we compared intestinal bacterial communities of WFS shrimp and healthy shrimp. Intestinal bacterial communities of WFS shrimp exhibited less diversity but were more heterogeneous than those of healthy shrimp. The intestinal bacterial communities were significantly different between WFS shrimp and healthy shrimp; compared with healthy shrimp, in WFS shrimp, Candidatus Bacilloplasma and Phascolarctobacterium were overrepresented, whereas Paracoccus and Lactococcus were underrepresented. PICRUSt functional predictions indicated that the relative abundances of genes involved in energy metabolism and genetic information processing were significantly greater in WFS shrimp. Collectively, we found that the composition and predicted functions of the intestinal bacterial community were markedly shifted by WFS. Significant increases in Candidatus Bacilloplasma and Phascolarctobacterium and decreases in Paracoccus and Lactococcus may contribute to WFS in shrimp.


Intestinal microbiota Shrimp Pacific white shrimp White feces syndrome Diversity 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the China Agriculture Research System (CARS-48), the Guangzhou Science Technology and Innovation Commission Project (201510010071), and the Guangdong Ocean and Fishery Bureau Project (20164200042090023).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical statement

This article does not contain any studies with human participants by any of the authors. No specific permits were required for the described field studies. No specific permissions were required for access to the artificial pond in Maoming, Guangdong Province, China. The field studies did not involve endangered or protected species. This study was reviewed and approved by the ethics committee of Sun Yat-sen University.

Supplementary material

253_2018_8855_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (129 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 128 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dongwei Hou
    • 1
  • Zhijian Huang
    • 1
  • Shenzheng Zeng
    • 1
  • Jian Liu
    • 1
  • Dongdong Wei
    • 1
  • Xisha Deng
    • 1
  • Shaoping Weng
    • 2
  • Qingyun Yan
    • 3
  • Jianguo He
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Resources and Coastal Engineering, School of Marine SciencesSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Environmental Microbiomics Research Center and School of Environmental Science and EngineeringSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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