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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 457:11-27 (2012)  -  DOI:

Epibiotic bacterial community of Sphaeroma serratum (Crustacea, Isopoda): relationship with molt status

Audrey Caro1,*, Arthur Escalas1, Corinne Bouvier1, Evelyse Grousset1, Nicole Lautredou-Audouy2, Cécile Roques1, Mireille Charmantier1, Olivier Gros3

1UMR-CNRS 5119, Laboratoire Ecologie des Systèmes Marins Côtiers, Université Montpellier II, 34095 Montpellier, Cedex 5, France
2INSERM U554, CNRS UMR 5048, Montpellier, France
3UMR-CNRS 7138, Systématique-Adaptation-Evolution, Equipe ‘Biologie de la mangrove’, BP 592, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, 97159 Pointe-à-Pitre Cedex, Guadeloupe, France

ABSTRACT: Sphaeroma serratum is a marine isopod species that inhabits seashores from Europe to West Africa. The individuals live under stones in direct contact with reduced sediments and harbour a diverse bacterial community on the cuticle of their pleopods. We investigated the diversity of these epibiotic bacteria on male (pubescent and senescent) and female specimens with electron microscopic observations and molecular tools. The microbial community of S. serratum was shown to be composed of at least 5 bacterial morphotypes observed on the pleopodal cuticle in all male specimens. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we identified 5 major phylogenetic groups (α-, β-, γ- and δ-Proteobacteria and Archaea) whereas denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments of epibiotic bacteria revealed 50 bands. The bacterial community associated with S. serratum seems more diverse than in other marine crustaceans, such as Rimicaris. The relative diversity of this bacterial community was also studied in relation to the molt cycle. The comparison of DGGE band patterns of several individuals from female, pubescent male and senescent male groups revealed that the bacterial community diversity was dependent on the sex and the age of the individuals and more generally on the molt status.

KEY WORDS: Sphaeroma · Molt cycle · Epibiotic biofilm · DGGE band pattern · FISH · Crustacean

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Cite this article as: Caro A, Escalas A, Bouvier C, Grousset E and others (2012) Epibiotic bacterial community of Sphaeroma serratum (Crustacea, Isopoda): relationship with molt status. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 457:11-27.

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