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MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 531:253-262 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11323

Bacterial communities associated with lionfish in their native and invaded ranges

Julia L. Stevens1,2, Julie B. Olson1,*

1The University of Alabama, Department of Biological Sciences, Box 870344, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487, USA
2Present address: North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Genomics and Microbiology Lab, Nature Research Center, 11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Lionfish, which are native to the Indo-Pacific, were introduced into the Western Atlantic Ocean, where they have become highly successful invaders. Previous work has demonstrated the presence of distinct lionfish populations within both the invaded and native ranges, but little is known about the specificity of the bacterial communities associated with lionfish surfaces. This study was designed to evaluate whether lionfish-associated bacterial communities reflected the geographical distribution patterns of their host. To this end, fin-associated bacterial communities from sites throughout the native and invaded ranges were analyzed. Lionfish were collected from 9 locations in the invaded Western Atlantic Ocean and 8 locations throughout their native Indo-Pacific. The composition of lionfish-associated bacterial communities was examined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses following amplification of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene with universal prokaryotic primers 8F and 1392R. Lionfish-associated external bacterial communities were not significantly different between the native and invaded ranges, but differences were found between collection locations within each range. Although bacterial communities on lionfish skin demonstrated a greater similarity within collection site than between collection sites, a core group of bacteria dominated by members of the γ Proteobacteria were found in lionfish-associated communities from both ranges. It is likely that lionfish maintain a core group of external bacteria throughout both the native and invaded ranges, but are differentially colonized by other bacteria from their local environments.


KEY WORDS: Core bacterial communities · Host-associated bacteria · Invasive species · Lionfish · Pterois volitans · Surface bacterial communities


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Cite this article as: Stevens JL, Olson JB (2015) Bacterial communities associated with lionfish in their native and invaded ranges. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 531:253-262. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11323

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