Jellyfish represent an important component of marine food webs characterized by large fluctuations of population density, with the ability to abruptly form outbreaks, followed by rarity periods. In spite of considerable efforts to investigate how jellyfish populations are responding globally to anthropogenic change, available evidence still remains unclear. In the last 50 years, jellyfish are seemingly on the rise in a number of coastal areas, including the Mediterranean Sea, where jellyfish blooms periodically become an issue to marine and maritime human activities. Their impacts on marine organism welfare have been poorly quantified. The jellyfish, Rhizostoma pulmo, is an outbreak-forming scyphomedusa whose large populations spread across the Mediterranean, with increasing periodicity and variable abundance. Studies on cnidarian jellyfish suggested being important vectors of bacterial pathogens. In the present study, by combination of conventional culture-based methods and a high-throughput amplicon sequencing (HTS) approach, we characterized the diversity of the bacterial community associated with this jellyfish during their summer outbreak. Three distinct jellyfish compartments, namely umbrella, oral arms, and the mucus secretion obtained from whole specimens were screened for specifically associated microbiota. A total of 17 phyla, 30 classes, 73 orders, 146 families and 329 genera of microbial organisms were represented in R. pulmo samples with three major clades (i.e. Spiroplasma, Mycoplasma and Wolinella) representing over 90% of the retrieved total sequences. The taxonomic microbial inventory was then combined with metabolic profiling data obtained from the Biolog Eco-Plate system. Significant differences among the jellyfish compartments were detected in terms of bacterial abundance, diversity and metabolic utilization of 31 different carbon sources with the highest value of abundance and metabolic potential in the mucus secretion compared to the umbrella and oral arms. Results are discussed in the framework of the species ecology as well as the potential health hazard for marine organisms and humans.

Jellyfish summer outbreaks as bacterial vectors and potential hazards for marine animals and humans health? The case of Rhizostoma pulmo (Scyphozoa, Cnidaria)

Intranuovo M.;Fosso B.;Pesole G.;Piraino S.;
2019-01-01

Abstract

Jellyfish represent an important component of marine food webs characterized by large fluctuations of population density, with the ability to abruptly form outbreaks, followed by rarity periods. In spite of considerable efforts to investigate how jellyfish populations are responding globally to anthropogenic change, available evidence still remains unclear. In the last 50 years, jellyfish are seemingly on the rise in a number of coastal areas, including the Mediterranean Sea, where jellyfish blooms periodically become an issue to marine and maritime human activities. Their impacts on marine organism welfare have been poorly quantified. The jellyfish, Rhizostoma pulmo, is an outbreak-forming scyphomedusa whose large populations spread across the Mediterranean, with increasing periodicity and variable abundance. Studies on cnidarian jellyfish suggested being important vectors of bacterial pathogens. In the present study, by combination of conventional culture-based methods and a high-throughput amplicon sequencing (HTS) approach, we characterized the diversity of the bacterial community associated with this jellyfish during their summer outbreak. Three distinct jellyfish compartments, namely umbrella, oral arms, and the mucus secretion obtained from whole specimens were screened for specifically associated microbiota. A total of 17 phyla, 30 classes, 73 orders, 146 families and 329 genera of microbial organisms were represented in R. pulmo samples with three major clades (i.e. Spiroplasma, Mycoplasma and Wolinella) representing over 90% of the retrieved total sequences. The taxonomic microbial inventory was then combined with metabolic profiling data obtained from the Biolog Eco-Plate system. Significant differences among the jellyfish compartments were detected in terms of bacterial abundance, diversity and metabolic utilization of 31 different carbon sources with the highest value of abundance and metabolic potential in the mucus secretion compared to the umbrella and oral arms. Results are discussed in the framework of the species ecology as well as the potential health hazard for marine organisms and humans.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/363240
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