The surface of many marine organisms is colonized by complex communities of microbes, yet our understanding of the diversity and role of host-associated microbes is still limited. We investigated the association between Ectopleura crocea (a colonial hydroid distributed worldwide in temperate waters) and prokaryotic assemblages colonizing the hydranth surface. We used, for the first time on a marine hydroid, a combination of electron and epifluorescence microscopy and 16S rDNA tag pyrosequencing to investigate the associated prokaryotic diversity. Dense assemblages of prokaryotes were associated with the hydrant surface. Two microbial morphotypes were observed: one horseshoe-shaped and one fusiform, worm-like. These prokaryotes were observed on the hydrozoan epidermis, but not in the portions covered by the perisarcal exoskeleton, and their abundance was higher in March while decreased in late spring. Molecular analyses showed that assemblages were dominated by Bacteria rather than Archaea. Bacterial assemblages were highly diversified, with up to 113 genera and 570 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs), many of which were rare and contributed to ,0.4%. The two most abundant OTUs, likely corresponding to the two morphotypes present on the epidermis, were distantly related to Comamonadaceae (genus Delftia) and to Flavobacteriaceae (genus Polaribacter). Epibiontic bacteria were found on E. crocea from different geographic areas but not in other hydroid species in the same areas, suggesting that the host-microbe association is species-specific. This is the first detailed report of bacteria living on the hydrozoan epidermis, and indeed the first study reporting bacteria associated with the epithelium of E. crocea. Our results provide a starting point for future studies aiming at clarifying the role of this peculiar hydrozoan-bacterial association.
|Titolo:||Biodiversity of Prokaryotic Communities Associated withthe Ectoderm of Ectopleura crocea (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 - Articolo su rivista|
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|30. Di Camillo et al., 2012_Prokariotic communities Ectopleura.pdf||Documento in versione editoriale||Open Access Visualizza/Apri|