Comparative analysis of gut bacterial communities of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) pre-hospitalization and post-rehabilitation by high-throughput sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene.

Ahasan, Md. Shamim, Waltzek, Thomas, Huerlimann, Roger, and Ariel, Ellen (2018) Comparative analysis of gut bacterial communities of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) pre-hospitalization and post-rehabilitation by high-throughput sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Microbiological Research, 207. pp. 91-99.

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Abstract

Stranded green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are often cared for in rehabilitation centers until they recover. Although the specific causal agents of diseases in stranded turtles are difficult to diagnose, we know that gut microbiota of green turtles play a vital role in health as well as a wide range of diseases. The objective of this study was to characterize and compare the gut bacterial communities between pre-hospitalization (PH) and post-rehabilitation (PR) stranded green turtles using high-throughput sequencing analysis targeting V1–V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. A total of eight cloacal swab samples were collected from four green turtles undergoing rehabilitation. Proteobacteria dominating in both PH and PR samples without any significant difference. Firmicutes was the second and Bacteroidetes was the third most abundant phylum in PH samples, while Bacteroidetes prevailed in PR samples, followed by Firmicutes. The predominance of the genus Bacteroides in both PH and PR samples indicates the importance of this genus in turtle gut health. At a class level, Epsilonproteobacteria was significantly (P < 0.05) associated with PH samples and Deltaproteobacteria predominated (P < 0.05) in PR samples. The significant abundance of Campylobacter fetus, Escherichia coli, Clostridium botulinum and Vibrio parahaemolyticus in PH samples indicate pathogenic associations with stranded green turtles with zoonotic potential. The presence of Salmonella enterica in only PR samples suggest possible acquisition of this bacteria during rehabilitation. In this study, all post-rehabilitation green turtles exhibited similar bacterial communities, irrespective of their microbial compositions at pre-hospitalization. The marked differences in the gut bacterial communities of PH and PR turtles indicate the outcome of dietary, management and environmental shift during rehabilitation. Therefore, it is important to address the process of restoring normal gut microbiota of recovered turtles prior to release back to their natural habitat.

Item ID: 56611
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1618-0623
Keywords: green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, gut microbiota, dysbiosis, bacterial diversity, rehabilitation
Copyright Information: © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved
Funders: James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2019 00:37
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070707 Veterinary Microbiology (excl Virology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960402 Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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