Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 990–1001 | Cite as

Comparison of intestinal microbiota and activities of digestive and immune-related enzymes of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus in two habitats

  • Qi Wang (王琦)
  • Xiumei Zhang (张秀梅)Email author
  • Muyan Chen (陈慕雁)
  • Wentao Li (李文涛)
  • Peidong Zhang (张沛东)


Sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus stock enhancement by releasing hatchery-produced seeds is a management tool used to recover its population under natural environmental conditions. To assess the suitability of releasing sites, we examined the microbiota of the gut contents of A. japonicus from two populations (one in sandy-muddy seagrass beds and one in rocky intertidal reefs) and the microbiota in their surrounding sediments. The activities of digestive and immune-related enzymes in the A. japonicus were also examined. The results indicated that higher bacterial richness and Shannon diversity index were observed in all the seagrass-bed samples. There were significant differences in intestinal and sediment microorganisms between the two habitats, with a 2.87 times higher abundance of Firmicutes in the seagrass bed sediments than that in the reefs. Meanwhile, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria were significantly higher abundant in the gut content of A. japonicus from seagrass bed than those from the reefs. In addition, the seagrass-bed samples exhibited a relatively higher abundance of potential probiotics. Principal coordinates analysis and heatmap showed the bacterial communities were classified into two groups corresponding to the two habitat types. Moreover, compared to A. japonicus obtained from rocky intertidal habitat, those obtained from the seagrass bed showed higher lysozyme, superoxide dismutase and protease activities. Our results suggest that bacterial communities present in seagrass beds might enhance the digestive function and immunity of A. japonicus. Therefore, compared with the rocky intertidal reef, seagrass bed seems to be more beneficial for the survival of A. japonicus.


Apostichopus japonicus gut content microflora seagrass bed rocky intertidal habitat high throughput sequencing enzyme activity 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Wang (王琦)
    • 1
  • Xiumei Zhang (张秀梅)
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Muyan Chen (陈慕雁)
    • 1
  • Wentao Li (李文涛)
    • 1
  • Peidong Zhang (张沛东)
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mariculture, Ministry of EducationOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine Fisheries and AquacultureQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina

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