The microbial ecology associated with the unaffected integuments and shell disease lesions of four species of large New England arthropods ( Cancer borealis (Jonah crab), Carcinus maenas (green crab), Limulus polyphemus (Atlantic horseshoe crab), Libinia emarginata (spider crab)) was studied. The diversity of microbial communities was identified by PCR-DGGE of bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragments. In all four species of Arthropods the composition of microbial communities in both lesions and unaffected integument surfaces were very diverse with up to 30 distinct bands evident on DGGE gels. There was not a single bacterium that was detected in all lesions and all unaffected integument samples of all four Arthropods. The results of multivariate analyses depicted that the microbial communities on unaffected integuments are dissimilar to those in lesions. Real-time PCR assays were developed for quantification of the unculturable bacteria, 'Thalassobius' sp. and Candidatus 'Homarophilus dermatus', associated with the lobster integument. A. macrocephali subsp. homaria and 'Thalassobius' sp. were found to be associated with lesion. In lesions the levels of A. macrocephali subsp. homaria and 'Thalassobius' sp. were five and three orders of magnitude higher equated to those on the unaffected integument. The abundance of 'Thalassobius' sp. in lesions was not affected by the location from where the lobsters were collected. In case of Candidatus 'Homarophilus dermatus' there were statistically more cells present on unaffected integument versus lesion, but the difference was less than one order of magnitude. The consistency in distribution of this bacterium in comparable numbers on lobsters from various locations indicated that it is a part of the normal flora of the American lobster.
|Advisor:||Chistoserdov, Andrei Y.|
|Commitee:||Ennis, Don G., Watson, Glen M.|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Microbiology, Biological oceanography, Parasitology|
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