Gut microbiota is known to influence the physiology, health, nutrient absorption, reproduction, and other metabolic activities of aquatic organisms. Microbial composition can influence intestinal immunity and are considered as health indicators. Information on gut microbial composition provides potential application possibilities to improve shrimp health and production. In the absence of such information for Penaeus indicus, the present study reports the microbial community structure associated with its early developmental stages. Bacterial community associated with the early developmental stages (egg, nauplii, zoea, mysis, PL1, PL6 and PL12) from two hatchery cycles were analysed employing 16S rRNA high throughput sequencing. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes, were the two dominant phyla in P. indicus development stages. Sequential sampling revealed the constant change in the bacterial composition at genus level. Alteromonas was dominant in egg and nauplii stage, whilst Ascidiaceihabitans (formerly Roseobacter) was the dominant genera in both PL6 and PL12. The bacterial composition was highly dynamic in early stages and our study suggests that the mysis stage is the critical phase in transforming the microbial composition and it gets stabalised by early post larval stages. This is the first report on the composition of microbiota in early developmental stages of P. indicus. Based on these results the formation of microbial composition seems to be influenced by feeding at early stages. The study provides valuable information to device intervention strategies for healthy seed production. 

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