We used high throughput pyrosequencing to characterize stomach and gut content microbiomes of Crassostrea virginica, the Easter oyster, obtained from two sites, one in Barataria Bay (Hackberry Bay) and the other in Terrebonne Bay (Lake Caillou), Louisiana, USA. Stomach microbiomes in oysters from Hackberry Bay were overwhelmingly dominated by Mollicutes most closely related to Mycoplasma; a more rich community dominated by Planctomyctes occurred in Lake Caillou oyster stomachs. Gut communities for oysters from both sites differed from stomach communities, and harbored a relatively diverse assemblage of phylotypes. Phylotypes most closely related to Shewanella and a Chloroflexi strain dominated the Lake Caillou and Hackberry Bay gut microbiota, respectively. While many members of the stomach and gut microbiomes appeared to be transients or opportunists, a putative core microbiome was identified based on phylotypes that occurred in all stomach or gut samples only. The putative core stomach microbiome comprised 5 OTUs in 3 phyla, while the putative core gut microbiome contained 44 OTUs in 12 phyla. These results collectively revealed novel microbial communities within the oyster digestive system, the functions of the oyster microbiome are largely unknown. A comparison of microbiomes from Louisiana oysters with bacterial communities reported for other marine invertebrates and fish indicated that molluscan microbiomes were more similar to each other than to microbiomes of polychaetes, decapods and fish.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
King, G., Judd, C., Kuske, C., & Smith, C. (2012). Analysis of Stomach and Gut Microbiomes of the Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) from Coastal Louisiana, USA. PLoS ONE, 7 (12) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051475