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Evaluation of the effects of probiotics in controlling bacterial necrosis symptoms in larvae of the mud crab Scylla serrata during mass seed production

Dan, Shigeki, Hamasaki, Katsuyuki
Aquaculture international 2015 v.23 no.1 pp. 277-296
Flavobacteriaceae, Scylla serrata, axenic culture, bacteria, crabs, culture media, larvae, mortality, necrosis, plate count, probiotics, rearing, seawater, secretion
We aimed to evaluate the practicability of probiotics in controlling larval necrosis symptoms and mass mortality occurred during seed production of the mud crab Scylla serrata. We targeted a bacterium in the family Flavobacteriaceae that causes necrosis symptoms of mud crab larvae. Five candidate probiotic bacterial strains, which showed inhibitory effects against the causative bacterium but were innocuous to larvae, were screened from the seed production environment. Sterile culture medium supernatants of the candidate strains inhibited the causative bacterium through the secretion of extracellular factors. These inhibitory effects were largely reduced when the strains were inoculated into sea water, suggesting medium-dependent production of inhibitory factors. The strain that exhibited the highest inhibitory effect on larval necrosis in 7-day larval rearing experiments was selected as a probiotic strain. In large-scale larval rearing experiments, the probiotic treatment significantly suppressed larval necrosis symptoms and improved larval survival in the early rearing period until the fourth zoeal stage. However, the effect disappeared after the fifth (last) zoeal stage, corresponding to a decrease in inoculated probiotic bacterial counts in the larval rearing water. Almost all larvae had died by the first crab stage. The effectiveness of probiotics developed in vitro has not yet proved practical in commercial-scale seed production. The continuous proliferation of probiotic bacteria and extracellular production as inhibitory factors in larval rearing water are the key factors in developing probiotics for commercial-scale seed production.