Data_Sheet_3_Cortisol-Related Signatures of Stress in the Fish Microbiome.CSV (909.87 kB)

Data_Sheet_3_Cortisol-Related Signatures of Stress in the Fish Microbiome.CSV

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posted on 2020-07-14, 07:19 authored by Tamsyn M. Uren Webster, Deiene Rodriguez-Barreto, Sofia Consuegra, Carlos Garcia de Leaniz

Exposure to environmental stressors can compromise fish health and fitness. Little is known about how stress-induced microbiome disruption may contribute to these adverse health effects, including how cortisol influences fish microbial communities. We exposed juvenile Atlantic salmon to a mild confinement stressor for two weeks. We then measured cortisol in the plasma, skin-mucus, and feces, and characterized the skin and fecal microbiome. Fecal and skin cortisol concentrations increased in fish exposed to confinement stress, and were positively correlated with plasma cortisol. Elevated fecal cortisol was associated with pronounced changes in the diversity and structure of the fecal microbiome. In particular, we identified a marked decline in the lactic acid bacteria Carnobacterium sp. and an increase in the abundance of operational taxonomic units within the classes Clostridia and Gammaproteobacteria. In contrast, cortisol concentrations in skin-mucus were lower than in the feces, and were not related to any detectable changes in the skin microbiome. Our results demonstrate that stressor-induced cortisol production is associated with disruption of the gut microbiome, which may, in turn, contribute to the adverse effects of stress on fish health. They also highlight the value of using non-invasive fecal samples to monitor stress, including simultaneous determination of cortisol and stress-responsive bacteria.