Animals and plants are increasingly suffering from diseases caused by fungi and oomycetes. These emerging pathogens are now recognized as a global threat to biodiversity and food security. Among oomycetes, Saprolegnia species cause significant declines in fish and amphibian populations. Fish eggs have an immature adaptive immune system and depend on nonspecific innate defences to ward off pathogens. Here, meta-taxonomic analyses revealed that Atlantic salmon eggs are home to diverse fungal, oomycete and bacterial communities. Although virulent Saprolegnia isolates were found in all salmon egg samples, a low incidence of Saprolegniosis was strongly correlated with a high richness and abundance of specific commensal Actinobacteria, with the genus Frondihabitans (Microbacteriaceae) effectively inhibiting attachment of Saprolegniato salmon eggs. These results highlight that fundamental insights into microbial landscapes of fish eggs may provide new sustainable means to mitigate emerging diseases.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 27 March 2014; doi:10.1038/ismej.2014.44.
- emerging pathogens