Host Species and Environment Shape the Gut Microbiota of Cohabiting Marine Bivalves

Shirin Akter, Melissa L. Wos-Oxley, Sarah R. Catalano, Md Mahbubul Hassan, Xiaoxu Li, Jian G. Qin, Andrew Pa Oxley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) are commercially important marine bivalves that frequently coexist and have overlapping feeding ecologies. Like other invertebrates, their gut microbiota is thought to play an important role in supporting their health and nutrition. Yet, little is known regarding the role of the host and environment in driving these communities. Here, bacterial assemblages were surveyed from seawater and gut aspirates of farmed C. gigas and co-occurring wild M. galloprovincialis in summer and winter using Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Unlike seawater, which was dominated by Pseudomonadata, bivalve samples largely consisted of Mycoplasmatota (Mollicutes) and accounted for >50% of the total OTU abundance. Despite large numbers of common (core) bacterial taxa, bivalve-specific species (OTUs) were also evident and predominantly associated with Mycoplasmataceae (notably Mycoplasma). An increase in diversity (though with varied taxonomic evenness) was observed in winter for both bivalves and was associated with changes in the abundance of core and bivalve-specific taxa, including several representing host-associated and environmental (free-living or particle-diet associated) organisms. Our findings highlight the contribution of the environment and the host in defining the composition of the gut microbiota in cohabiting, intergeneric bivalve populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1755-1772
Number of pages18
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Issue number3
Early online date22 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Aquaculture
  • Gut microbiota
  • Mussels
  • Mycoplasma
  • Oysters
  • Seasonal changes


Dive into the research topics of 'Host Species and Environment Shape the Gut Microbiota of Cohabiting Marine Bivalves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this