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, 109 (7), 1063-9

Analysis of the Microbial Diversity in Faecal Material of the Endangered Blue Whale, Balaenoptera Musculus

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Analysis of the Microbial Diversity in Faecal Material of the Endangered Blue Whale, Balaenoptera Musculus

Olivia Guass et al. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek.

Abstract

Using bacterial and fungal tag-encoded FLX-Titanium amplicon pyrosequencing, the microbiota of the faecal material of two blue whales living in the wild off the coast of California was investigated. In both samples the most predominant bacterial phylum was the Firmicutes with Clostridium spp. being the most dominant bacteria. The most predominant fungi were members of the phylum Ascomycota with Metschnikowia spp. being the most dominant. In this study, we also preliminarily characterised the culturable anaerobic bacteria from the faecal material, using traditional culture and 16S rRNA gene sequencing approaches. In total, three bacterial species belonging to the phylum Firmicutes were identified.

Keywords: Balaenoptera musculus; Blue whale; Faecal material; Microbiota.

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