Regional and oyster microenvironmental scale heterogeneity in the Pacific oyster bacterial community.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
FEMS Microbiol Ecol, 2020
Issue Date:
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Different organs of a host represent distinct microenvironments resulting in the establishment of multiple discrete bacterial communities within a host. These discrete bacterial communities can also vary according to geographical location. For the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, the factors governing bacterial diversity and abundance of different oyster microenvironments are poorly understood. In this study, the factors shaping bacterial abundance, diversity and composition associated with the C. gigas mantle, gill, adductor muscle, and digestive gland were characterised using 16S (V3-V4) rRNA amplicon sequencing across six discrete estuaries. Both location and tissue-type, with tissue-type being the stronger determinant, were factors driving bacterial community composition. Bacterial communities from wave-dominated estuaries had similar compositions and higher bacterial abundance despite being geographically distant from one another, possibly indicating that functional estuarine morphology characteristics are a factor shaping the oyster bacterial community. Despite the bacterial community heterogeneity, examinations of the core bacterial community identified Spirochaetaceae bacteria as conserved across all sites and samples. Whereas members of the Vulcaniibacterium, Spirochaetaceae and Margulisbacteria, and Polynucleobacter were regionally conserved members of the digestive gland, gill, and mantle bacterial communities respectively. This indicates that baseline bacterial community profiles for specific locations are necessary when investigating bacterial communities in oyster health.
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