A meta-barcoding approach to assess and compare the storage temperature-dependent bacterial diversity of gilt-head sea bream (Sparus aurata) originating from fish farms from two geographically distinct areas of Greece

Int J Food Microbiol. 2018 Aug 2;278:36-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2018.04.027. Epub 2018 Apr 19.


Bacterial diversity of whole gilt-head sea bream (Sparus aurata L. 1758) originating from Ionian and Aegean Sea aquaculture farms and stored at 0 (ice), 4 and 8 °C was determined by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing method using the Illumina's MiSeq platform. The composition of Aerobic Plate Counts (APC) was also monitored by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The rejection time point of sea bream from either area, as determined by sensory evaluation, was about 14, 6 and 3 days at 0, 4 and 8 °C, respectively. APC was approximately 4.5 log cfu/g at day 0 and ranged from 7.5 to 8.5 log cfu/g at sensory rejection. Culture-depended analysis showed that Pseudomonas and Shewanella were the most abundant microorganisms grown on plates for both seas. Moreover, culture-independent analysis of DNA extracted directly from fish flesh showed that sea bream originating from different geographical areas exhibited different bacterial diversity. Pseudomonas and Psychrobacter were the dominant microorganisms of chill-stored fish from Ionian (apart from 8 °C, where Carnobacterium dominated) and Aegean Sea, respectively. In addition, small changes of storage temperature greatly affected bacterial microbiota of stored fish. Various bacterial species, not detected by conventional microbiological methods, were also revealed through 16S amplicon sequencing. In conclusion, the use of NGS approach is a promising methodology for assessing bacterial diversity of sea bream originating from different geographical areas and stored at various temperatures.

Keywords: 16S rRNA gene; Bacterial diversity; Fish; Next-generation sequencing (NGS); Sea bream; Spoilage.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aquaculture
  • Female
  • Fisheries
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Food Preservation / methods
  • Greece
  • Microbiota / genetics
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Pseudomonas / genetics
  • Pseudomonas / isolation & purification*
  • Psychrobacter / genetics
  • Psychrobacter / isolation & purification*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sea Bream / microbiology*
  • Shewanella / genetics
  • Shewanella / isolation & purification*
  • Temperature


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S