January 21, 2022 +91-44-24618817, 24616948

The prevalence of bacterial diseases and the application of probiotics to prevent them is a common practice in shrimp aquaculture. A wide range of bacterial species/strains is utilized in probiotic formulations, with proven beneficial effects. However, knowledge of their role in inhibiting the growth of a specific pathogen is restricted. In this study, we employed constraint-based genome-scale metabolic modeling approach to screen and identify the beneficial bacteria capable of limiting the growth of V. harveyi, a common pathogen in shrimp culture. Genome-scale models were built for 194 species (including strains from the genera BacillusLactobacillus, and Lactococcus and the pathogenic strain V. harveyi) to explore the metabolic potential of these strains under different nutrient conditions in a consortium. In silico-based phenotypic analysis on 193 paired models predicted six candidate strains with growth enhancement and pathogen suppression. Growth simulations reveal that mannitol and glucoronate environments mediate parasitic interactions in a pairwise community. Furthermore, in a mannitol environment, the shortlisted six strains were purely metabolite consumers without donating metabolites to V. harveyi. The production of acetate by the screened species in a paired community suggests the natural metabolic end product’s role in limiting pathogen survival. Our study employing in silico approach successfully predicted three novel candidate strains for probiotic applications, namely, Bacillus sp 1 (identified as B. licheniformis in this study), Bacillus weihaiensis Alg07, and Lactobacillus lindneri TMW 1.1993. The study is the first to apply genomic-scale metabolic models for aquaculture applications to detect bacterial species limiting Vibrio harveyi growth

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