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Identification of facultative anaerobic bacteria isolated from the intestine of the minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata by 16S rRNA sequencing analysis


There are few reports in the literature about the isolation of bacteria from whale intestine. In this report, we counted colony-forming units in the feces obtained from three female common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). The number of colony-forming units ranged from (2.2 ± 0.4) × 105 to (8.9 ± 2.0) × 108 per gram (wet weight) of excrement. 16S rRNA gene sequences of 141 isolates were determined. These strains were identified as Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus sp., Enterobacter cloacae, Enterobacter sp., Escherichia coli, Edwardsiella ictaluri or Clostridium sp. The data suggested that the facultative anaerobic population of the intestinal bacterial flora of the minke whale was similar to that of ground mammals.

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We thank Dr. Genta Yasunaga and members of the Japanese Whale Research Program, who operated under special permit in Japan’s Whale Research Program in the western North Pacific (JARPN II), for preparing whale feces samples and gathering data about whales.

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Correspondence to Naoto Urano.

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Ogawa, G., Ishida, M., Kato, H. et al. Identification of facultative anaerobic bacteria isolated from the intestine of the minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata by 16S rRNA sequencing analysis. Fish Sci 76, 177–181 (2010).

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