Title

Bacterial communities associated with lesions of two forms of shell disease in the American lobster (Homarus americanus, Milne Edwards) from Atlantic Canada

Document Type

Article

Comments

Published in: Canadian Journal of Microbiology, Vol. 59, No. 6, 2013, p. 380-390

Abstract

Shell disease is a major threat to the American lobster (Homarus americanus, Milne Edwards) fishery. Here we describe the composition of microbial communities associated with lesions of 2 forms of shell disease in Atlantic Canada, (i) a trauma shell disease (TSD) characterized by massive lesions and (ii) an enzootic shell disease (EnSD) characterized by irregularly shaped lesions with a distinct orange to yellow color. The microbiology of the lesions was described by polymerase chain reaction and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 16S rDNA amplified from scrapings of the shell lesions and was compared with communities of unaffected carapaces and previously described forms of shell diseases. Both TSD and EnSD lesions were dominated by members of Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Flavobacteria, all commonly detected in other forms of shell disease; however, unique members of Epsilonproteobacteria were also present. Two Vibrio spp. and 2 Pseudoalteromonas spp. were dominant in lesions of TSD and a Tenacibaculum sp. and Tenacibaculum ovolyticum were dominant in lesions of EnSD. The TSD and EnSD in this study contained similar taxa as other shell disease forms; however, their microbiology is mostly different and neither resembles that of epizootic shell disease.