Gut and Gill-Associated Microbiota of the Flatfish European Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa): Diversity, Metabolome and Bioactivity against Human and Aquaculture Pathogens

Similar to other marine holobionts, fish are colonized by complex microbial communities that promote their health and growth. Fish-associated microbiota is emerging as a promising source of bioactive metabolites. Pleuronectes platessa (European plaice, plaice), a flatfish with commercial importance, is common in the Baltic Sea. Here we used a culture-dependent survey followed by molecular identification to identify microbiota associated with the gills and the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of P. platessa, then profiled their antimicrobial activity and metabolome. Altogether, 66 strains (59 bacteria and 7 fungi) were isolated, with Proteobacteria being the most abundant phylum. Gill-associated microbiota accounted for higher number of isolates and was dominated by the Proteobacteria (family Moraxellaceae) and Actinobacteria (family Nocardiaceae), whereas Gram-negative bacterial families Vibrionaceae and Shewanellaceae represented the largest group associated with the GIT. The EtOAc extracts of the solid and liquid media cultures of 21 bacteria and 2 fungi representing the diversity of cultivable plaice-associated microbiota was profiled for their antimicrobial activity against three fish pathogens, human bacterial pathogen panel (ESKAPE) and two human fungal pathogens.. Proteobacteria represented the most active isolates. Notably, the solid media extracts displayed higher activity against fish pathogens, while liquid culture extracts were more active against human pathogens. This study highlights plaice-associated microbiota as a potential source of antimicrobials for the control of human and the aquaculture-associated infections. This is the first study reporting diversity, bioactivity and chemical profile of culture-dependent microbiota of plaice.


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