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Crabs have been found to be ecologically and economically important species across various mangroves. Gut microbiota play pivotal roles in nutrient conversions, host health and pathogenicity. To understand its possible role in crab physiology and nutrient dynamics of the Indian Sundarbans, gastrointestinal tract from three crab species-Scylla serrata, Episesarama versicolor and Uca rosea, were explored for microbial community profiles using Next Generation Sequencing of V3–V4 regions of 16SrRNA gene. Based on OTU abundance, Proteobacteria was the dominant phyla, followed by Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Fusobacteria and Tenericutes. Vibrio, Bacillus, Lactobacillus, Corynebacterium, Spiroplasma were among the major genera. Free living soil and aquatic nutrient cycle regulators were also present. U. rosea has slightly different microbial profiles both in terms of diversity, significantly greater abundances of Actinobacteria and Nitrospira (ANOVA, P-value < 0.05). Tenericutes and Elusimicrobia abundances are greater in crab guts compared to previous reports on soil and water of the Sundarbans. Our findings point at crab guts as sites harbouring bacterial genera which bear importance in host physiology, human palatability and ecological conversions which can be further elaborated through confirmatory experiments.
Proceedings of the Zoological Society – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2022
Keywords: Mangrove; Crabs; Gut-bacteria; 16S rRNA; Next Generation Sequencing
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