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Effect of Arthrospira supplementation on Oreochromis niloticus gut microbiota and flesh quality

Plaza, Ignacio, García, José Luis, Galán, Beatriz, de la Fuente, Jesús, Bermejo‐Poza, Rubén, Villarroel, Morris
Aquaculture research 2019 v.50 no.5 pp. 1448-1458
Actinobacteria, Arthrospira platensis, Fusobacteria, Oreochromis niloticus, Proteobacteria, Spirulina, beta-carotene, color, diet, digestive system, feed conversion, fish, fish feeds, intestinal microorganisms, meat quality, phycocyanin, reflectance, rigor mortis, shelf life, species diversity
Supplementing fish feed with Arthrospira platensis has several beneficial effects, such as improved growth, survival and feed conversion, but little is known about how it affects gut microbiota or flesh quality. In this trial, feed with 3% A. platensis was given to Oreochromis niloticus (SPR, spirulina supplemented) over a period of 50 days and their gut microbiota and flesh quality were compared with controls (CTRs, no supplementation). Average daily growth was higher in SPR fish (p < 0.05). Regarding microbiota, a total of 5,470,272 readings (individuals) were obtained from 16 gut samples (n = 8 CTR, n = 8 SPR), with a gamma diversity of 1,563 species but no significant differences were found between treatments. Among the high inter‐individual variability found, some individual microbiota were dominated by Proteobacteria (36.6%) and Fusobacteria (32.9%) and others more by Actinobacteria (37%). Regarding flesh quality, significant differences were observed in flesh colour post‐mortem (a*, b* and chroma) (p < 0.05), with higher reflectance in the range of 470–500 and 620–670 nm in SPR tilapia, which corresponds with the reflectance range of β‐carotene and phycocyanin. However, rigor mortis was resolved earlier in SPR fish (p < 0.05), which suggests a shorter shelf life. Adding 3% of A. platensis in O. niloticus diet can improve growth and flesh colour and does not appear to modify intestinal microbiota.