Bacterial diversity of the digestive gland of Sydney rock oysters, Saccostrea glomerata infected with the paramyxean parasite, Marteilia sydneyi

T. J. Green, A. C. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: To determine whether the infestation by the protozoan paramyxean parasite, Marteilia sydneyi, changes the bacterial community of the digestive gland of Sydney rock oysters, Saccostrea glomerata. Methods and Results: Six 16S rDNA clone libraries were established from three M. sydneyi-infected and three un-infected oysters. Restriction enzyme analysis followed by sequencing representative clones revealed a total of 23 different operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in un-infected oysters, comprising the major phyla: Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Spirocheates, where the clone distribution was 44, 36, 7 and 5%, respectively. Close to half of the OTUs are not closely related to any other hitherto determined sequence. In contrast, S. glomerata infected by M. sydneyi had only one OTU present in the digestive gland. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rDNA sequence reveals that this dominant OTU, belonging to the α-Proteobacteria, is closely related to a Rickettsiales-like prokaryote (RLP). Conclusions: The microbiota of the digestive gland of Sydney rock oysters is changed by infection by M. sydneyi, becoming dominated by a RLP, and generally less diverse. The bacterial community of un-infected S. glomerata differs from previous studies in that we identified the dominant taxa as Firmicutes and α-Proteobacteria, rather than heterotrophic γ-Proteobacteria. Significance and Impact of the Study: This is the first culture-independent study of the microbiota of the digestive glands of edible oysters to the species level. The commercial viability of the Sydney rock oyster industry in Australia is currently threatened by Queensland Unknown disease and the changes in the bacterial community of S. glomerata corresponding with infection by M. sydneyi sheds further light on the link between parasite infection and mortality in this economically damaging disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-622
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Volume109
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes

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