Shrimp is extensively cultured worldwide. Shrimp farming is suffering from a variety of diseases. Probiotics are considered to be one of the effective methods to prevent and cure shrimp diseases. Exiguobacterium arabatum W-01, a gram-positive and orange-pigmented bacterium, was isolated from the intestine of a healthy Penaeus vannamei specimen. Whole-genome sequencing revealed a genome of 2,914,854 bp, with 48.02% GC content. In total, 3,083 open reading frames (ORFs) were identified, with an average length of 843.98 bp and a mean GC content of 48.11%, accounting for 89.27% of the genome. Among these ORFs, 2,884 (93.5%) genes were classified into Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG) families comprising 21 functional categories, and 1,650 ORFs were classified into 83 functional Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways. A total of 27 rRNA operons and 68 tRNAs were identified, with all 20 amino acids represented. In addition, 91 genomic islands, 68 potential prophages, and 33 tandem repeats, but no clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs), were found. No resistance genes and only one virulence gene were identified. Among the 150 secreted proteins of E. arabatum W-01, a variety of transport system substrate-binding proteins, enzymes, and biosynthetic proteins, which play important roles in the uptake and metabolism of nutrients, were found. Two adherence-related protein genes and 31 flagellum-related protein genes were also identified. Taken together, these results indicate potential probiotic functions for E. arabatum W-01.© 2017 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.