Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Room: Park Tower 8212
Chyana A. Woodyard - Hampton University
Co-Author(s): Masuud Washington, Hampton University; Indu Sharma, PhD., Hampton University
The health and well-being of a living organism is in great relation to the host’s gut microbiota, or the microbe population within their intestine. With attention to aquatic animals, and specifically crustacean, it has been proven that the bacterial community of their environment, contributes to the establishment of gut microbiome. Research has shown that, with aquatic animals, dietary changes affect gut microbiota since theirs is more fluidic than those of the terrestrial vertebrae. We hypothesized that the red deep sea crab acquire their gut microbiome from the surrounding environment. To test our hypothesis, we extracted DNA from 32 male crab guts, 27 female crab gut, and six water samples from their benthic environment. Community profiling using the 16S rRNA gene (V3-V5) was performed . The Sequence data was analyzed using USEARCH v7 and QIIME 1.9.1. We are currently assessing the microbiota diversity. To assess the alpha and beta diversity, the gut microbiome was compared to their surrounding water samples. With water samples collected from different depths along the Atlantic seafloor, similar microbiome profiles were evident in comparison to these important commodities to fisheries in the Mid-Atlantic region. Certain groups, on the contrary and to which we concluded, appeared to be either enriched or acquired by other means. The gut microbiota of the crab contained: Fusobacteriales, Vibrionales, Alteromonadales, and Campylobacteria; whereas Nitrosopumilales, Thiomicrospirales, Euryarchaeota, Alphaproteobacteria (SAR 11), Deltaproteobacteria (SAR 234), and SAR86 clade were denoted in the benthic water samples. Further research involves the analysis of isolated sample DNA in order to assess the comparisons between the gut microbiota of the female and male red deep sea crab, and assessment of stability of the gut microbiome when the crabs are removed from their natural environment.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation, Award #1601057
Faculty Advisor: Indu Sharma, Indu.firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I worked in extracting the DNA from the 59 crab gut samples and six benthic water samples using the QIIME DNA isolation kits. I also worked in analyzing the microbiota of these samples and comparing them in order to evaluate if our hypothesis was correct or not.