Abundance, diversity and seasonal dynamics of predatory bacteria in aquaculture zero discharge systems

Prem P. Kandel, Zohar Pasternak, Jaap van Rijn, Ortal Nahum, Edouard Jurkevitch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Standard aquaculture generates large-scale pollution and strains water resources. In aquaculture using zero discharge systems (ZDS), highly efficient fish growth and water recycling are combined. The wastewater stream is directed through compartments in which beneficial microbial activities induced by creating suitable environmental conditions remove biological and chemical pollutants, alleviating both problems. Bacterial predators, preying on bacterial populations in the ZDS, may affect their diversity, composition and functional redundancy, yet in-depth understanding of this phenomenon is lacking. The dynamics of populations belonging to the obligate predators Bdellovibrio and like organisms (BALOs) were analyzed in freshwater and saline ZDS over a 7-month period using QPCR targeting the Bdellovibrionaceae, and the Bacteriovorax and Bacteriolyticum genera in the Bacteriovoracaeae. Both families co-existed in ZDS compartments, constituting 0.13-1.4% of total Bacteria. Relative predator abundance varied according to the environmental conditions prevailing in different compartments, most notably salinity. Strikingly, the Bdellovibrionaceae, hitherto only retrieved from freshwater and soil, also populated the saline system. In addition to the detected BALOs, other potential predators were highly abundant, especially from the Myxococcales. Among the general bacterial population, Flavobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Fusobacteriaceae and unclassified Bacteria dominated a well mixed but seasonally fluctuating diverse community of up to 238 operational taxonomic units, as revealed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)149-161
Number of pages13
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Bdellovibrio
  • Bdellovibrio and like organism
  • Community dynamics
  • Water recycling


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