In vitro selection and characterization of putative probiotics isolated from the gut of Acipenser baerii (Brandt, 1869)



To select and characterize potential probiotic bacteria from the gut microbiota of Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii), 129 strains isolated from the hindgut were screened for antagonistic activity against five fish pathogens. Ten isolates showed antagonism towards three or more pathogens. Nine of these isolates were Gram-positive, belonging to Lactococcus (seven) and Bacillus (two), and a single strain belonging to the Gram-negative Citrobacter. These inhibitory isolates were identified using genetic, phentotypic and biochemical traits, and further characterized by in vitro tests assessing the adhesion and growth in mucus and resistance to gastric and intestinal fluids. The candidate probiotics were determined to be non-pathogenic through an in vivo study. Based on these assays, Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis STG45 and STG81 showed the broadest inhibitory potential, a high viability in simulated gastrointestinal juice and the highest adhesion capacity to mucus. They were therefore selected as the most promising candidate probiotics. This is the first study screening probiotics among the gut microflora of Siberian sturgeon.