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The molecular bases of the adaption of a flavobacteria in fish

@INRAE Tatiana Rochat
Amongst all sectors contributing to human foods, aquaculture is the one that has the most rapid growth. It is, however, confronted with the challenge of controlling infectious diseases that are poorly understood. The understanding of the biology of these aquatic pathogens and their infectious mechanisms is necessary for the development of strategies that fight against them.

Bacteria of the Flavobacteriacaee family (phylum Bacteroidetes) are one of the main causes of disease on fresh water fish farms. Amongst them, the Flavobacterium psychrophilum species is responsible for flavobacteriosis, a disease whose repeated infectious episodes are associated with high death rates and the use of antibiotics, with an important economic and ecological impact on salmonid fish farms worldwide. Although they have been little studied, flavobacteria are, however, frequently present in many environments like soil and aquatic environments where, in addition to being responsible for certain diseases, they play a key role in the recycling of organic matter.

In order to gain new knowledge on flavobacteria biology and their mechansims of pathogenicity, scientists at INRAE in partnership with the I2BC sequencing core facilities of CNRS studied how Flavobacterium psychrophilum adapts to different environments encountered during its life cycle. The study, published on July 7, 2021 in the journal ISME Communications, provides at last an overall view of gene expression in the bacteria in association with its ecological niche as well as a detailed mapping of its transcriptionnal landscape that reveals many regulatory elements of gene expression. Thanks to the analysis of a high number of biological conditions reflecting different steps of life of the bacteria in and outside of its host, associations have been made between precise gene expression and specific environments. This study is therefore a key step in the identification of genes involved in host adaptation and virulence. In addition to this publication, a web site conceived to facilitate the use of data by the scientific community is housed by the INRAE Migale bioinformatics facilities.

This study was made possible by a close collaboration between the Fish Infection and Immunity team (INRAE VIM) and the Bioinformatics and Statistics of Omics Data Team (INRAE MaIAGE) that began in 2007 with the publication of the first genome of F. psychrophilum and by the financial support provided by the National Research Agency.

Transcriptome architecture and regulation at environmental transitions in flavobacteria: the case of an important fish pathogen. Cyprien Guérin, Bo-Hyung Lee, Benjamin Fradet, Erwin van Dijk, Bogdan Mirauta, Claude Thermes, Jean-François Bernardet, Francis Repoila, Eric Duchaud, Pierre Nicolas et Tatiana Rochat. ISME COMMUN. 1, 33 (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s43705-021-00029-9.

  • Tatiana ROCHAT, Tel : 01 34 65 23 24 ; courriel :
  • Pierre NICOLAS, Tel : 01 34 65 28 94    ; courriel :

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