Effect of stock density on the microbial community in biofloc water and Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) gut microbiota

  • Yale Deng
  • Xiangyang Xu
  • Xuwang Yin
  • Huifeng Lu
  • Guangshuo Chen
  • Jianhai Yu
  • Yunjie RuanEmail author
Environmental biotechnology


Biofloc technology is an efficient approach for intensive shrimp culture. However, the extent to which this process can influence the composition of intestinal microbial community is still unknown. Here, we surveyed the shrimp intestinal bacteria as well as the floc water from three biofloc systems with different stock densities. Our study revealed a similar variation trend in phylum taxonomy level between floc bacteria and gut microbiota. Microbial community varied notably in floc water from different stock densities, while a core genus with dominating relative abundance was detected in gut samples. Extensive variation was discovered in gut microbiota, but still clustered into groups according to stock density. Our results indicated that shrimp intestinal microbiota as well as bacteria aggregated in flocs assembled into distinct communities from different stock densities, and the intestinal communities were more similar with the surrounding environment as the increase of stock density and resulting high floc biomass. The high stock density changed the core gut microbiota by reducing the relative abundance of Paracoccus and increasing that of Nocardioides, which may negatively influence shrimp performance. Therefore, this study helps us to understand further bacteria and host interactions in biofloc system.


Biofloc technology Stock density Shrimp Gut microbiota Microbial community 



We would like to thank the reviewers and editors for their insightful comments. We also thank Xiaomei Yue (Business Economics Group, Wageningen University) for helping with data analysis and visualization.

Authors’ contributions

Conceptualization: YD and YR; data collection and analysis: YD, XX, XY, and HL; drafting the manuscript: YD and YR; review and editing: YD, XX, GC, JY, and YR. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This study was funded by Natural Science Fund of China (31402348 and 31670377), Zhejiang Province Science and Technology Projects (2015C03010) and Program for Liaoning Excellent Talents in University (LR2015009). We also thank the reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethics approval and consent to participate

This paper does not contain any studies with human participants or vertebrate animals performed by any of the authors.

Consent for publication

This manuscript does not contain any individual person’s data.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yale Deng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiangyang Xu
    • 3
  • Xuwang Yin
    • 4
  • Huifeng Lu
    • 3
  • Guangshuo Chen
    • 5
  • Jianhai Yu
    • 5
  • Yunjie Ruan
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Agricultural Bio-Environmental Engineering, College of Bio-systems Engineering and Food ScienceZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Animal Sciences, Aquaculture and Fisheries GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Environmental EngineeringZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  4. 4.College of Fisheries and Life ScienceDalian Ocean UniversityDalianChina
  5. 5.The Rural Development AcademyZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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