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Effects of full replacement of dietary fishmeal with insect meal from Tenebrio molitor on rainbow trout gut and skin microbiota

Genciana Terova, Elisabetta Gini, Laura Gasco, Federico Moroni, Micaela Antonini, Simona Rimoldi
Journal of animal science and biotechnology 2021 v.12 no.1 pp. 30
Mycoplasmataceae, Neisseriaceae, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Ruminococcaceae, Tenebrio molitor, animal proteins, aquaculture, biotechnology, digestive tract mucosa, farmed fish, fish meal, gamma-Proteobacteria, genes, insect meal, intestinal microorganisms, intestines, metagenomics, microbiome, species richness, trout
BACKGROUND: Aquaculture must continue to reduce dependence on fishmeal (FM) and fishoil in feeds to ensure sustainable sector growth. Therefore, the use of novel aquaculture feed ingredients is growing. In this regard, insects can represent a new world of sustainable and protein-rich ingredients for farmed fish feeds. Accordingly, we investigated the effects of full replacement of FM with Tenebrio molitor (TM) larvae meal in the diet of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) on fish gut and skin microbiota. METHODS: A feeding trial was conducted with 126 trout of about 80 g mean initial weight that were fed for 22 weeks with two isonitrogenous, isolipidic, and isoenergetic extruded experimental diets. Partially defatted TM meal was included in one of the diets to replace 100% (TM 100) of FM, whereas the other diet (TM 0) was without TM. To analyse the microbial communities, the Illumina MiSeq platform for sequencing of 16S rRNA gene and Qiime pipeline were used to identify bacteria in the gut and skin mucosa, and in the diets. RESULTS: The data showed no major effects of full FM substitution with TM meal on bacterial species richness and diversity in both, gut mucosa- and skin mucus-associated microbiome. Skin microbiome was dominated by phylum Proteobacteria and especially by Gammaproteobacteria class that constituted approximately half of the bacterial taxa found. The two dietary fish groups did not display distinctive features, except for a decrease in the relative abundance of Deefgea genus (family Neisseriaceae) in trout fed with insect meal. The metagenomic analysis of the gut mucosa indicated that Tenericutes was the most abundant phylum, regardless of the diet. Specifically, within this phylum, the Mollicutes, mainly represented by Mycoplasmataceae family, were the dominant class. However, we observed only a weak dietary modulation of intestinal bacterial communities. The only changes due to full FM replacement with TM meal were a decreased number of Proteobacteria and a reduced number of taxa assigned to Ruminococcaceae and Neisseriaceae families. CONCLUSIONS: The data demonstrated that TM larvae meal is a valid alternative animal protein to replace FM in the aquafeeds. Only slight gut and skin microbiota changes occurred in rainbow trout after total FM replacement with insect meal. The mapping of the trout skin microbiota represents a novel contribution of the present study. Indeed, in contrast to the increasing knowledge on gut microbiota, the skin microbiota of major farmed fish species remains largely unmapped but it deserves thorough consideration.