[2021 AWARD WINNING PAPER] Spatiotemporal distribution of Flavobacterium psychrophilum and ayu Plecoglossus altivelis in rivers revealed by environmental DNA analysis

2021 Award of Excellence for the Science Papers

Fish Sci (2021) 87:321–330
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12562-021-01510-z


Hinako Tenma, Koki Tsunekawa, Riho Fujiyoshi, Hajime Takai, Masae Hirose, Nanami Masai, Kosuke Sumi, Yuta Takihana, Sogen Yanagisawa, Kota Tsuchida, Kenichi Ohara, Toshiaki Jo, Masaki Takagi, Akiko Ota, Hiroyoshi Iwata, Yuichi Yaoi, Toshifumi Minamoto


Outbreaks of bacterial cold-water disease (BCWD), caused by Flavobacterium psychrophilum, are widespread in Japan, especially among ayu Plecoglossus altivelis. There are few investigations of F. psychrophilum in river water, and its seasonal distribution has not been clarified. We aimed to identify the spatiotemporal dynamics of F. psychrophilum and ayu to provide information that is useful for establishing a countermeasure for BCWD. Quantitative analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA) was used to clarify the year-round dynamics of ayu and F. psychrophilum. We sampled river water from the Nagara and Ibi rivers in Japan, and conducted monthly water sampling and eDNA quantification. Changes in the eDNA concentration of ayu were consistent with the known life histories of the fish. There was a strong negative correlation between the eDNA concentration of F. psychrophilum and water temperature, suggesting a strong dependence of F. psychrophilum dynamics in the river on water temperature. Furthermore, relatively high eDNA concentrations were recorded for both organisms in early summer and fall, suggesting that ayu is infected with F. psychrophilum during these seasons when experiencing up- and downmigration, respectively.


Ayu Plecoglossus altivelis / Bacterial cold-water disease / Environmental DNA (eDNA) / Flavobacterium psychrophilum / Seasonal dynamics

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