Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 1714–1725 | Cite as

High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA amplicons characterizes gut microbiota shift of juvenile sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus feeding with three antibiotics

  • Ye ZhaoEmail author
  • Qing Wang
  • Hui LiuEmail author
  • Bingjun Li
  • Hongxia Zhang
Aquaculture and Fisheries


Sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus is an important marine economic species in Asian countries due to its profound nutritional and medicinal value. So far, with the rapid development of intensified artificial aquaculture of sea cucumbers, the use of antibiotics is still an inexpensive and dispensable way to treat pathogenic infections, especially during the nursery phase. However, there is little information on the effects of antibiotics on the intestinal microbiota of sea cucumber. Therefore an Illumina based sequencing method was used to examine the intestinal bacterial composition of juvenile A. japonicas following diets with three typical antibiotics (tetracycline, erythromycin, and norfloxacin) under 15, 30, and 45 d. The findings reveal that different antibiotics have distinct effects on the growth performance of juvenile sea cucumbers. However, the richness and diversity of microbiota were barely affected by antibiotics but the community composition alterations indicated that the three antibiotics exhibited their respective patterns of reshaping the intestinal bacteria of juvenile sea cucumbers. In common, the abundance of some sensitive genera with helpful functions, such as Thalassotalea, Shewanella, Sulfitobacter, and Halomonas decreased significantly with exposure to antibiotics and the abundance of multiple potential pathogenic- and suspected antibiotic-resistant microorganisms like Arcobacter, Leucothrix, and Clostridium_sensu_stricto_1 was found increased significantly in the antibiotic groups. These results suggest that low doses of antibiotics could affect the composition of the intestinal microbiota of sea cucumbers and might increase the risk of infection of the hosts. This study could help us to explore how antibacterial compounds modify the gut microbiota of sea cucumbers and provide theoretical guidance in hatchery management by scientific antibiotic use in sea cucumber mariculture.


gut microbiota sea cucumber antibiotic 16S rRNA gene illumina sequencing 


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7 Acknowledgement

The authors thank TAO Tengzhou and WANG Xinyu (Yantai University) for sample collection.

Supplementary material

343_2019_8308_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (554 kb)


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ocean SchoolYantai UniversityYantaiChina
  2. 2.Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesYantaiChina

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