, Volume 150, Issue 6, pp 1431-1440
Date: 26 Aug 2006

Clostridia dominate 16S rRNA gene libraries prepared from the hindgut of temperate marine herbivorous fishes

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Abstract

Bacterial diversity in the microbial communities of posterior gut sections of three temperate marine herbivorous fish species from New Zealand was characterised using Amplified Ribosomal DNA Restriction Analysis, and 16S rRNA gene amplification and sequencing methods. The fish were collected in 1999–2000 in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand (35°54’–36°24’S, 174°48’–175°25’E). The gastrointestinal bacterial communities of Kyphosus sydneyanus (Günther, 1886) (F. Kyphosidae), Odax pullus (Forster in Bloch and Schneider, 1801) (F. Labridae) and Aplodactylus arctidens Richardson, 1839 (F. Aplodactylidae) were dominated by five clades of bacteria, four of which belong to recognized clostridial clusters. The clone libraries of K. sydneyanus and O. pullus contained sequences from most of these clades, but were dominated by members of clostridial clusters XI and XIVa, respectively. The clone library of A. arctidens was dominated by members of clostridial cluster XIVb and an unassigned cluster containing Eubacterium desmolans and Papillibacter cinnaminovorans. The finding that strains of Firmicutes dominated the gastrointestinal microbial communities of all three fish species is consistent with the results of similar studies on terrestrial vertebrate herbivores. This work thus contributes to the view that gastrointestinal symbionts in some marine herbivorous fishes may play a similar role to those in terrestrial vertebrate herbivores studied to date.

Communicated by J.P.Grassle, New Brunswick