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Interspecific variations in the gastrointestinal microbiota in penguins

Dewar, Meagan L., Arnould, John P. Y., Dann, Peter, Trathan, Phil, Groscolas, Rene and Smith, Stuart 2013, Interspecific variations in the gastrointestinal microbiota in penguins, MicrobiologyOpen, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 195-204.

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Title Interspecific variations in the gastrointestinal microbiota in penguins
Author(s) Dewar, Meagan L.
Arnould, John P. Y.
Dann, Peter
Trathan, Phil
Groscolas, Rene
Smith, Stuart
Journal name MicrobiologyOpen
Volume number 2
Issue number 1
Start page 195
End page 204
Total pages 10
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Place of publication West Sussex, England
Publication date 2013-02
ISSN 2045-8827
Keyword(s) microbiota
penguins
pyrosequencing
qPCR
Summary Despite the enormous amount of data available on the importance of the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota in vertebrate (especially mammals), information on the GI microbiota of seabirds remains incomplete. As with many seabirds, penguins have a unique digestive physiology that enables them to store large reserves of adipose tissue, protein, and lipids. This study used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing to characterize the interspecific variations of the GI microbiota of four penguin species: the king, gentoo, macaroni, and little penguin. The qPCR results indicated that there were significant differences in the abundance of the major phyla Firmicutes, Bacteroides, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria. A total of 132,340, 18,336, 6324, and 4826 near full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences were amplified from fecal samples collected from king, gentoo, macaroni, and little penguins, respectively. A total of 13 phyla were identified with Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Fusobacteria dominating the composition; however, there were major differences in the relative abundance of the phyla. In addition, this study documented the presence of known human pathogens, such as Campylobacter, Helicobacter, Prevotella, Veillonella, Erysipelotrichaceae, Neisseria, and Mycoplasma. However, their role in disease in penguins remains unknown. To our knowledge, this is the first study to provide an in-depth investigation of the GI microbiota of penguins.
Notes This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 060504 Microbial Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30051685

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.