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Mar. Drugs 2013, 11(8), 2695-2712; doi:10.3390/md11082695
Article

Diversity and Biosynthetic Potential of Culturable Microbes Associated with Toxic Marine Animals

1
, 1
, 2
 and 1,*
1 School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia 2 Cawthron Institute, Private Bag 2, Nelson, 7001 and Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 June 2013 / Revised: 8 July 2013 / Accepted: 19 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Neurotoxins)
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Abstract

Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a neurotoxin that has been reported from taxonomically diverse organisms across 14 different phyla. The biogenic origin of tetrodotoxin is still disputed, however, TTX biosynthesis by host-associated bacteria has been reported. An investigation into the culturable microbial populations from the TTX-associated blue-ringed octopus Hapalochlaena sp. and sea slug Pleurobranchaea maculata revealed a surprisingly high microbial diversity. Although TTX was not detected among the cultured isolates, PCR screening identifiedsome natural product biosynthesis genes putatively involved in its assembly. This study is the first to report on the microbial diversity of culturable communities from H. maculosa and P. maculata and common natural product biosynthesis genes from their microbiota. We also reassess the production of TTX reported from three bacterial strains isolated from the TTX-containing gastropod Nassarius semiplicatus.
Keywords: tetrodotoxin; biosynthesis; microbial diversity; Pleurobranchaea maculata; Hapalochlaena sp.; Nassarius semiplicatus tetrodotoxin; biosynthesis; microbial diversity; Pleurobranchaea maculata; Hapalochlaena sp.; Nassarius semiplicatus
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chau, R.; Kalaitzis, J.A.; Wood, S.A.; Neilan, B.A. Diversity and Biosynthetic Potential of Culturable Microbes Associated with Toxic Marine Animals. Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 2695-2712.

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