Effects of bacterial treatment at early stages of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) on larval survival and development

H. L. Lauzon, S. Gudmundsdottir, A. Steinarsson, M. Oddgeirsson, S. K. Petursdottir, E. Reynisson, R. Bjornsdottir, B. K. Gudmundsdottir

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To assess the effects of bacterial treatment at the earliest stages of cod rearing on the microbial load, larval development and performance, testing three bacterial strains (Carnobacterium divergens V41, Arthrobacter sp. and Enterococcus sp.) in vivo that were previously shown to have inhibitory potential towards fish pathogens in vitro. Methods and Results: A bacterial mixture was added eight times to the rearing water from the prehatch to the mid-larval stage (a 38-day period). Microbiological analysis of ova, larvae and rearing water was performed regularly. Larval performance and development were evaluated by survival rate, hypersalinity tolerance and physiological measurements. Different larval survival rates were observed within and between treatments, and possibly explained by variations in larval microflora and established probionts. Larvae from one silo, which had been bathed in the bacterial suspension, showed the highest survival rate (42·1%), lowest Vibrio levels, and were significantly heavier (19·3%) and more stress tolerant than control larvae (P < 0·01). This coincided with the intestinal establishment of two of the tested bacteria. Conclusions: Arthrobacter and Enterococcus strains added regularly to the rearing water from the postfertilized egg stage can become established in larval gastrointestinal tract. The Enterococcus strain was associated with increased larval growth, performance and microflora control, indicating its probiotic nature. Significance and Impact of the Study: Regular application of autochthonous probionts may promote larval welfare, development and stress tolerance at early stages, hence increasing production yield in intensive cod larviculture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-632
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

Other keywords

  • Cod larviculture
  • Hypersalinity tolerance
  • Larval development
  • Probiotic
  • Survival


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