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Stable Tetrodotoxin Production by Bacillus sp. Strain 1839
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The Microbial Community of Tetrodotoxin-Bearing and Non-Tetrodotoxin-Bearing Ribbon Worms (Nemertea) from the Sea of Japan

A.V. Zhirmunsky National Scientific Center of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 690041 Vladivostok, Russia
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Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(3), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/md18030177
Received: 13 February 2020 / Revised: 20 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 23 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tetrodotoxin: Chemistry, Toxicity, Source, Distribution and Detection)
A potent marine toxin, tetrodotoxin (TTX), found in a great variety of marine and some terrestrial species, leaves intriguing questions about its origin and distribution in marine ecosystems. TTX-producing bacteria were found in the cultivable microflora of many TTX-bearing hosts, thereby providing strong support for the hypothesis that the toxin is of bacterial origin in these species. However, metagenomic studies of TTX-bearing animals addressing the whole microbial composition and estimating the contribution of TTX-producing bacteria to the overall toxicity of the host were not conducted. The present study is the first to characterize and compare the 16S rRNA gene data obtained from four TTX-bearing and four non-TTX-bearing species of marine ribbon worms. The statistical analysis showed that different nemertean species harbor distinct bacterial communities, while members of the same species mostly share more similar microbiomes. The bacterial species historically associated with TTX production were found in all studied samples but predominated in TTX-bearing nemertean species. This suggests that deeper knowledge of the microbiome of TTX-bearing animals is a key to understanding the origin of TTX in marine ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: tetrodotoxin; TTX; TTX-bearing animals; Nemertea; TTX-producing bacteria; microbiota tetrodotoxin; TTX; TTX-bearing animals; Nemertea; TTX-producing bacteria; microbiota
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Melnikova, D.I.; Magarlamov, T.Y. The Microbial Community of Tetrodotoxin-Bearing and Non-Tetrodotoxin-Bearing Ribbon Worms (Nemertea) from the Sea of Japan. Mar. Drugs 2020, 18, 177.

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