Poster Australian Marine Sciences Association 2022

Developing Probiotics for Aquaculture Production of Corals (#526)

Callaway Thatcher 1 , Katarina Damjanovic 2 , Brett K Baillie 2 , Felicity Kuek 2 , Alessandro DP Carini 2 , Sara Bell 2 , David G Bourne 1 , Lone Hoj 2
  1. College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  2. Australian Institute Of Marine Science, TOWNSVILLE, QLD, Australia

Probiotics are commonly used to support aquaculture production of marine larvae and juveniles, where they confer health benefits such as enhanced growth and development rates, and increased resistance to disease and environmental stressors. The development of probiotics for use in coral aquaculture is however in its infancy (Thatcher et al 2022). Towards this end, more than 850 bacterial strains representing over 50 bacterial genera were isolated from coral, complementing an existing collection of 125 isolates. Bacterial isolates were recovered from a range of coral species and life stages using a variety of isolation strategies to capture a high bacterial diversity. Screening of strains for traits expected to benefit coral health is ongoing, including antibacterial activity, biofilm formation on coral mucus, and production of digestive enzymes. In vivo screening experiments were performed with recruits of Acropora tenuis and Platygyra daedalea, and samples were collected to assess the effect of probiotic candidates on recruit growth, symbiont density, immune response, and microbiome. Here, we will present the strategy chosen for coral probiotics development and results obtained to date.

  1. Thatcher C, Høj L, Bourne DG (2022) Probiotics for coral aquaculture: challenges and considerations. Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 73:380-386. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2021.09.009.