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Microorganisms 2019, 7(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7020035

The Purple Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus Demonstrates a Compartmentalization of Gut Bacterial Microbiota, Predictive Functional Attributes, and Taxonomic Co-Occurrence

1
Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1300 University Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
2
Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon, 63466 Boat Basin Rd, Charleston, OR 97420, USA
3
Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1918 University Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
4
Department of Genetics, Heflin Center Genomics Core, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 705 South 20th Street, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 November 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 26 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Gut Microbiota)
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Abstract

The sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (order Camarodonta, family Strongylocentrotidae) can be found dominating low intertidal pool biomass on the southern coast of Oregon, USA. In this case study, three adult sea urchins were collected from their shared intertidal pool, and the bacteriome of their pharynx, gut tissue, and gut digesta, including their tide pool water and algae, was determined using targeted high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of the 16S rRNA genes and bioinformatics tools. Overall, the gut tissue demonstrated Arcobacter and Sulfurimonas (Epsilonproteobacteria) to be abundant, whereas the gut digesta was dominated by Psychromonas (Gammaproteobacteria), Propionigenium (Fusobacteria), and Flavobacteriales (Bacteroidetes). Alpha and beta diversity analyses indicated low species richness and distinct microbial communities comprising the gut tissue and digesta, while the pharynx tissue had higher richness, more closely resembling the water microbiota. Predicted functional profiles showed Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) Level-2 categories of energy metabolism, membrane transport, cell motility, and signal transduction in the gut tissue, and the gut digesta represented amino acid, carbohydrate, vitamin and cofactor metabolisms, and replication and repair. Co-occurrence network analysis showed the potential relationships and key taxa, such as the highly abundant Arcobacter and Propionigenium, influencing population patterns and taxonomic organization between the gut tissue and digesta. These results demonstrate a trend of microbial community integration, allocation, predicted metabolic roles, and taxonomic co-occurrence patterns in the S. purpuratus gut ecosystem. View Full-Text
Keywords: Illumina; high-throughput sequencing (HTS), bacteriome; PICRUSt; 16S rRNA gene; PhyloToAST; CoNet; QIIME; LEfSe; KEGG Illumina; high-throughput sequencing (HTS), bacteriome; PICRUSt; 16S rRNA gene; PhyloToAST; CoNet; QIIME; LEfSe; KEGG
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Hakim, J.A.; Schram, J.B.; Galloway, A.W.E.; Morrow, C.D.; Crowley, M.R.; Watts, S.A.; Bej, A.K. The Purple Sea Urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus Demonstrates a Compartmentalization of Gut Bacterial Microbiota, Predictive Functional Attributes, and Taxonomic Co-Occurrence. Microorganisms 2019, 7, 35.

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