Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Temporal dynamics of bacterial populations in recirculating aquaculture systems for sea urchin production


Arbacia dufresnii; culturable bacteria; recirculating system; bacteriological quality; physicochemical parameters; seawater quality.
Arbacia dufresnii; bacterias cultivables; sistemas de recirculación; calidad bacteriológica; parámetros fisicoquímicos; calidad de agua de mar.

How to Cite

Garcés, M., Rubilar, T., Cledon, M., & Sequeiros, C. (2024). Temporal dynamics of bacterial populations in recirculating aquaculture systems for sea urchin production. Revista De Biología Tropical, 72(S1), e58882.


Introduction: Sea urchin aquaculture is a rising industry, and in consequence, there is a need to establish optimal culture parameters to ensure the health of the cultured animals.

Objective: To evaluate the bacterial counts in the seawater of sea urchin (Arbacia dufresnii) aquaculture recirculating systems (RAS).

Methods: The bacteriological water quality of two RAS containing sea urchins was determined. For approximately two months, weekly water samples were taken. The bacteriological quality was determined by counting total aerobic heterotrophic populations, lactic acid bacteria, enterobacterias and genus Vibrio. Physicochemical parameters were also measured.

Results: There was no presence of disease or mortality. Enterobacteria and lactic acid bacteria were not detected from both RAS systems. The number of animals had an important effect on the observed difference in the count of total bacteria and Vibrio spp. In RAS 1 the maximum counts of total bacteria and Vibrio spp. were 2.8 x 105 ± 1.7 x 105 and 1.45 x 105 ± 3.6 x 104 UFC ml-1, respectively. In RAS 2 total bacteria and Vibrio spp. exhibited repetitive behavior over time influenced in part by water exchange and mainly by feeding. The results indicate that periodic water changes ensure a limited growth of bacterial strains as Vibrio and other bacteria.

Conclusions: Our results suggests that the bacterial count levels recorded in this study can be used as a threshold or safety limit for Arbacia dufresnii aquaculture.


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