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Keywords:

  • Bacteria;
  • FISH;
  • ARISA;
  • 16S rRNA gene;
  • gut;
  • Nephrops norvegicus

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the gut bacterial communities of Nephrops norvegicus individuals, using a suite of molecular tools consisting of automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis, 16S rRNA gene–internal transcribed spacer clone libraries and FISH. The animals were collected from Pagasitikos Gulf, Greece, during different months of the year. The diversity of the gut bacterial communities was found to mostly vary with sampling time, which could be related to temporal variations in food supply. The 16S rRNA gene diversity analysis showed dominance of specific phylotypes for each month studied. February, May, July, August and October samples were rich in sequences related to the gammaproteobacterial genera Pseudoalteromonas, Psychrobacter and Photobacterium. September and December samples were dominated by phylotypes affiliated with uncultured representatives of Mollicutes, which are generally associated with the intestinal tracts of various animals. The presence of Gammaproteobacteria and uncultured Mollicutes in August and September samples, respectively, was further confirmed by FISH. None of the morphometric parameters considered was related to the temporal pattern of dominant bacterial communities.