The gill tissue of bivalve mollusks hosts rich symbiotic microbial communities that may contribute to the animal's metabolism. Spondylus spinosus is an invasive oyster that has become highly abundant along the eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS) coastline, but is scarce in the northern Red Sea (NRS), its indigenous region. The composition and seasonal dynamics of the gill microbial communities of S.spinosus were examined in both regions, using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Additionally, two Red Sea Spondylus species, S.avramsingeri and S.pickeringae, were investigated using the same approach. Significant differences were found between microbial communities of the EMS S.spinosus and the three NRS species. Bacteria from the family Hahellaceae dominated the communities of the EMS S.spinosus and the NRS S.avramsingeri, oysters that are dominant in their habitat, yet were rare in the NRS S.spinosus and S.pickeringae, which are only seldom encountered. Bacterial communities of EMS S.spinosus were more similar to those of NRS S.spinosus than to those of other NRS Spondylus species, indicating that either part of the microbiota had co-invaded with their host into the Mediterranean Sea, or that there are species-specific selective constraints on microbial composition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)