Bulletin of Marine and Coastal Research

Bacterial community structure in different tissues of the wild Lobatus gigas (Linnaeus, 1758) from the Caribbean Seaflower Biosphera Reserve

Mónica Marcela Higuita-Valencia, Olga Inés Montoya Campuzano, Edna Judith Márquez Fernández, Claudia Ximena Moreno Herrera


The microbial diversity of Lobatus gigas has not been thoroughly studied despite of them is a specie endangered. Knowledge of microbiota may help to improve the conservation and cultivation of this species. The objective of this study was to evaluate the bacterial populations
associated with the gonad and the gut compartments of the wild endangered L. gigas from the Caribbean Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, using microbiological methods and culture-independent molecular tools. The genetic profiles of the bacterial populations were generated and Temporal Temperature Gradient Electrophoresis (TTGE) was used to compare them with total DNA. A genetic and statistical analysis of the bacterial communities revealed a low level of diversity in gonad tissue based on the number of bands detected using TTGE. In addition, statistical differences in bacterial community structure were found between the foregut and hindgut tissue of L. gigas. The dominant phylogenetic affiliations of the gonad bacteria, as determined using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, belong to Ralstonia (50%). The possible involvement of this genus in the reproduction and development of the conch is discussed. On the other hand, the bacterial phylotypes from foregut and hindgut included members of  Alphaproteobactera (12.5%), Betaproteobacteria (12.5%), Gammaproteobacteria (12.5%), Bacilli (31.25%), Clostridia (6.25%), Actinobacteria (6.25%), Mollicutes (6.25%) and Deinococci (6.25%) classes. Knowing the composition of the gonad and foregut and hindgut bacteria of L. gigas is the first step toward exploring the proper management of this species, as well as provides useful information to future researches that allow a better understanding of the role of these bacterial populations in the health and reproductive rate of L. gigas.


Lobatus gigas, 16S rRNA gene; Bacterial Community; Gonad; gut.

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DOI: 10.25268/bimc.invemar.2018.47.2.746


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