Shrimp pond - extensive culture

Water Quality and Probiotic Use

There is currently little scientific evidence of the efficacy of pro-biotic treatments which are increasingly used in aquaculture systems. A wide range of probiotic treatments and other intervention methods are currently used by farmers in India to improve crop health and increase yield. By investigating their effect on the pond microbiome and individual pathogens using molecular biology methods we can provide new information on whether and how they influence disease risk. The microbiological effects of the most commonly used water- and feed-based pro-biotic treatments on pond microbiome, pathogen prevalence and disease risk will be investigated. Control and experimental farms on both the east and west coast of India will be selected to be as similar as possible in all respects other than pro-biotic treatment. Molecular analyses and integrated pathology will be carried out temporally after probiotic treatment at each farm to associate infection levels and disease status with pro-biotic interventions.

We will also investigate the effects of additional farming intervention methods (e.g. water purification treatments, adding fresh water, early harvest, reduction in stock density, sludge removal, etc.) on microbiome structure, disease events, and pathogen occurrence and diversity using mathematical and statistical modelling approaches. This will provide the first molecular-based evidence of the effects of interventions and the implications these have for disease risk.