Phylogenetic characterization of epibiotic bacteria in the accessory nidamental gland and egg capsules of the squid Loligo pealei (Cephalopoda: Loliginidae)

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SummarySexually mature female squid Loligo pealei harbour dense bacterial communities in their accessory nidamental glands (ANGs) and in their egg capsules (ECs). This study describes a molecular approach using the 16S rRNA gene (rDNA) to identify bacterial populations within the ANG and the ECs of the North Atlantic squid species L. pealei. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and 16S rDNA analysis showed that predominantly alpha- and, to a lesser extent, gamma-proteobacteria were the predominant components of the ANG and EC bacterial communities. Sequencing results showed the presence of alpha-proteobacterial populations affiliated with the Roseobacter group and additional deep-branching alpha proteobacterial lineages. In contrast, isolates from the ANG and ECs contained only a few alpha-proteobacteria of the Roseobacter group compared with several gamma-proteobacterial isolates, mostly Shewanella and Pseudoalteromonas species. Most of the ANG-associated bacterial populations were also found within the ECs of L. pealei. The molecular approach allowed the visualization of alpha-proteobacteria as major constituents of a bacterial symbiosis within the reproductive system of the Loliginidae.

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