Metagenomic analyses of microbial communities from aquatic sediments are relatively few, and there are no reported metagenomic studies on sediment from inland ponds used for aquaculture. Catfish ponds in the southeastern U.S. are eutrophic systems. They are fertilized to enhance algae growth and encourage natural food production, and catfish are fed with commercial feed from spring to fall. As result, catfish pond sediment (CPS) contains a very dense, diverse microbial community that has significant effects on the physiochemical parameters of pond dynamics. Here we conducted an in-depth metagenomic analysis of the taxonomic and metabolic capabilities of a catfish pond sediment microbiome from a southeastern U.S. aquaculture farm in Mississippi using Illumina next-generation sequencing. A total of 3.3 Gbp of sequence was obtained, 25,491,518 of which encoded predicted protein features. The pond sediment was dominated by Proteobacteria sequences, followed by Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Chloroflexi, and Actinobacteria. Enzyme pathways for methane metabolism/methanogenesis, denitrification, and sulfate reduction appeared nearly complete in the pond sediment metagenome profile. In particular, a large number of Deltaproteobacteria sequences and genes encoding anaerobic functional enzymes were found. This is the first study to characterize a catfish pond sediment microbiome, and it is expected to be useful for characterizing specific changes in microbial flora in response to production practices. It will also provide insight into the taxonomic diversity and metabolic capabilities of microbial communities in aquaculture. Furthermore, comparison with other environments (i.e., river and marine sediments) will reveal habitat-specific characteristics and adaptations caused by differences in nutrients, vegetation, and environmental stresses.
Nho, S. W., Abdelhamed, H., Paul, D., Park, S., Mauel, M. J., Karsi, A., & Lawrence, M. L. (2018). Taxonomic and functional metagenomic profile of sediment from a commercial catfish pond in Mississippi. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9(NOV). https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.02855