Supplementary materials to Beneficial Microbes: Heat-stable spores of carotenoid-producing Bacillus marisflavi and non-pigmented Bacillus subtilis cooperatively promote growth, quality, and gut microbiota of white-leg shrimp
We evaluated the benefits of heat-stable carotenoid-producing Bacillus marisflavi SH8 spores individually and in combination with non-pigmented Bacillus subtilis SH23 spores on growth, colour change, nutritional content, innate immunity, and gut microbiota of white-leg shrimp. White-leg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei; n = 30 per tank; 2 tanks per group) were provided feed without (control group) or with SH8, SH23, or mixed spores (total, 1×106 cfu/g pellet) for 28 d. The SH8 and SH8-23 combination groups had significantly higher specific growth rates (9.6 and 11.0%), improved red-colour score (4 scores), astaxanthin concentration (1.8- and 2.3-fold), lipid contents (30 and 50%), and superoxidase dismutase activity (8.5 and 12.3%) than that of the control group. Analysis of shrimp’s gut microbiome using 16S rRNA metagenome sequencing revealed increased abundance of four useful species and reduced abundance of four harmful species in the combination group than in the control group. Heat-stable Bacillus spore combination improved growth parameters, nutrient content, red-colour score, live counts, and abundance of useful bacteria in the gut of L. vannamei. This is the first study to show the benefits of combining highly heat-stable pigmented and non-pigmented Bacillus spores and their possible mechanisms in a shrimp model.