King, WL, Siboni, N, Kahlke, T, Dove, M, O'Connor, W, Mahbub, KR, Jenkins, C, Seymour, JR & Labbate, M 2020, 'Regional and oyster microenvironmental scale heterogeneity in the Pacific oyster bacterial community.', FEMS microbiology ecology.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Different organs of a host represent distinct microenvironments resulting in the establishment of multiple discrete bacterial communities within a host. These discrete bacterial communities can also vary according to geographical location. For the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, the factors governing bacterial diversity and abundance of different oyster microenvironments are poorly understood. In this study, the factors shaping bacterial abundance, diversity and composition associated with the C. gigas mantle, gill, adductor muscle, and digestive gland were characterised using 16S (V3-V4) rRNA amplicon sequencing across six discrete estuaries. Both location and tissue-type, with tissue-type being the stronger determinant, were factors driving bacterial community composition. Bacterial communities from wave-dominated estuaries had similar compositions and higher bacterial abundance despite being geographically distant from one another, possibly indicating that functional estuarine morphology characteristics are a factor shaping the oyster bacterial community. Despite the bacterial community heterogeneity, examinations of the core bacterial community identified Spirochaetaceae bacteria as conserved across all sites and samples. Whereas members of the Vulcaniibacterium, Spirochaetaceae and Margulisbacteria, and Polynucleobacter were regionally conserved members of the digestive gland, gill, and mantle bacterial communities respectively. This indicates that baseline bacterial community profiles for specific locations are necessary when investigating bacterial communities in oyster health.
Green, TJ, Siboni, N, King, WL, Labbate, M, Seymour, JR & Raftos, D 2019, 'Simulated Marine Heat Wave Alters Abundance and Structure of Vibrio Populations Associated with the Pacific Oyster Resulting in a Mass Mortality Event.', Microbial ecology, vol. 77, no. 3, pp. 736-747.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Marine heat waves are predicted to become more frequent and intense due to anthropogenically induced climate change, which will impact global production of seafood. Links between rising seawater temperature and disease have been documented for many aquaculture species, including the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. The oyster harbours a diverse microbial community that may act as a source of opportunistic pathogens during temperature stress. We rapidly raised the seawater temperature from 20 °C to 25 °C resulting in an oyster mortality rate of 77.4%. Under the same temperature conditions and with the addition of antibiotics, the mortality rate was only 4.3%, strongly indicating a role for bacteria in temperature-induced mortality. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing revealed a change in the oyster microbiome when the temperature was increased to 25 °C, with a notable increase in the proportion of Vibrio sequences. This pattern was confirmed by qPCR, which revealed heat stress increased the abundance of Vibrio harveyi and Vibrio fortis by 324-fold and 10-fold, respectively. Our findings indicate that heat stress-induced mortality of C. gigas coincides with an increase in the abundance of putative bacterial pathogens in the oyster microbiome and highlights the negative consequences of marine heat waves on food production from aquaculture.
King, WL, Jenkins, C, Go, J, Siboni, N, Seymour, JR & Labbate, M 2019, 'Characterisation of the Pacific Oyster Microbiome During a Summer Mortality Event.', Microbial Ecology, vol. 77, pp. 502-512.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, is a key commercial species that is cultivated globally. In recent years, disease outbreaks have heavily impacted C. gigas stocks worldwide, with many losses incurred during summer. A number of infectious agents have been associated with these summer mortality events, including viruses (particularly Ostreid herpesvirus 1, OsHV-1) and bacteria; however, cases where no known aetiological agent can be identified are common. In this study, we examined the microbiome of disease-affected and disease-unaffected C. gigas during a 2013-2014 summer mortality event in Port Stephens (Australia) where known oyster pathogens including OsHV-1 were not detected. The adductor muscle microbiomes of 70 C. gigas samples across 12 study sites in the Port Stephens estuary were characterised using 16S rRNA (V1-V3 region) amplicon sequencing, with the aim of comparing the influence of spatial location and disease state on the oyster microbiome. Spatial location was found to be a significant determinant of the disease-affected oyster microbiome. Furthermore, microbiome comparisons between disease states identified a significant increase in rare operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to Vibrio harveyi and an unidentified member of the Vibrio genus in the disease-affected microbiome. This is indicative of a potential role of Vibrio species in oyster disease and supportive of previous culture-based examination of this mortality event.
King, WL, Jenkins, C, Seymour, JR & Labbate, M 2019, 'Oyster disease in a changing environment: Decrypting the link between pathogen, microbiome and environment.', Marine environmental research, vol. 143, pp. 124-140.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Shifting environmental conditions are known to be important triggers of oyster diseases. The mechanism(s) behind these synergistic effects (interplay between host, environment and pathogen/s) are often not clear, although there is evidence that shifts in environmental conditions can affect oyster immunity, and pathogen growth and virulence. However, the impact of shifting environmental parameters on the oyster microbiome and how this affects oyster health and susceptibility to infectious pathogens remains understudied. In this review, we summarise the major diseases afflicting oysters with a focus on the role of environmental factors that can catalyse or amplify disease outbreaks. We also consider the potential role of the oyster microbiome in buffering or augmenting oyster disease outbreaks and suggest that a deeper understanding of the oyster microbiome, its links to the environment and its effect on oyster health and disease susceptibility, is required to develop new frameworks for the prevention and management of oyster diseases.
King, WL, Siboni, N, Kahlke, T, Green, TJ, Labbate, M & Seymour, JR 2019, 'A New High Throughput Sequencing Assay for Characterizing the Diversity of Natural Vibrio Communities and Its Application to a Pacific Oyster Mortality Event.', Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 10, pp. 2907-2907.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The Vibrio genus is notable for including several pathogens of marine animals and humans, yet characterization of Vibrio diversity using routine 16S rRNA sequencing methods is often constrained by poor resolution beyond the genus level. Here, a new high throughput sequencing approach targeting the heat shock protein (hsp60) as a phylogenetic marker was developed to more precisely discriminate members of the Vibrio genus in environmental samples. The utility of this new assay was tested using mock communities constructed from known dilutions of Vibrio isolates. Relative to standard and Vibrio-specific 16S rRNA sequencing assays, the hsp60 assay delivered high levels of fidelity with the mock community composition at the species level, including discrimination of species within the Vibrio harveyi clade. This assay was subsequently applied to characterize Vibrio community composition in seawater and delivered substantially improved taxonomic resolution of Vibrio species compared to 16S rRNA analysis. Finally, this assay was applied to examine patterns in the Vibrio community within oysters during a Pacific oyster mortality event. In these oysters, the hsp60 assay identified species-level Vibrio community shifts prior to disease onset, pinpointing V. harveyi as a putative pathogen. Given that shifts in the Vibrio community can precede, cause, and follow disease onset in numerous marine organisms, there is a need for an accurate high throughput assay for defining Vibrio community composition in natural samples. This Vibrio-centric hsp60 sequencing assay offers the potential for precise high throughput characterization of Vibrio diversity, providing an enhanced platform for dissecting Vibrio dynamics in the environment.
King, WL, Siboni, N, Williams, NLR, Kahlke, T, Nguyen, KV, Jenkins, C, Dove, M, O'Connor, W, Seymour, JR & Labbate, M 2019, 'Variability in the Composition of Pacific Oyster Microbiomes Across Oyster Families Exhibiting Different Levels of Susceptibility to OsHV-1 μvar Disease.', Frontiers in microbiology, vol. 10, no. Mar.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Oyster diseases are a major impediment to the profitability and growth of the oyster aquaculture industry. In recent years, geographically widespread outbreaks of disease caused by ostreid herpesvirus-1 microvariant (OsHV-1 μvar) have led to mass mortalities among Crassostrea gigas, the Pacific Oyster. Attempts to minimize the impact of this disease have been largely focused on breeding programs, and although these have shown some success in producing oyster families with reduced mortality, the mechanism(s) behind this protection is poorly understood. One possible factor is modification of the C. gigas microbiome. To explore how breeding for resistance to OsHV-1 μvar affects the oyster microbiome, we used 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to characterize the bacterial communities associated with 35 C. gigas families, incorporating oysters with different levels of susceptibility to OsHV-1 μvar disease. The microbiomes of disease-susceptible families were significantly different to the microbiomes of disease-resistant families. OTUs assigned to the Photobacterium, Vibrio, Aliivibrio, Streptococcus, and Roseovarius genera were associated with low disease resistance. In partial support of this finding, qPCR identified a statistically significant increase of Vibrio-specific 16S rRNA gene copies in the low disease resistance families, possibly indicative of a reduced host immune response to these pathogens. In addition to these results, examination of the core microbiome revealed that each family possessed a small core community, with OTUs assigned to the Winogradskyella genus and the Bradyrhizobiaceae family consistent members across most disease-resistant families. This study examines patterns in the microbiome of oyster families exhibiting differing levels of OsHV-1 μvar disease resistance and reveals some key bacterial taxa that may provide a protective or detrimental role in OsHV-1 μvar disease outbreaks.
Labbate, M, Orata, FD, Petty, NK, Jayatilleke, ND, King, WL, Kirchberger, PC, Allen, C, Mann, G, Mutreja, A, Thomson, NR, Boucher, Y & Charles, IG 2016, 'A genomic island in Vibrio cholerae with VPI-1 site-specific recombination characteristics contains CRISPR-Cas and type VI secretion modules.', Scientific Reports, vol. 6, pp. 1-7.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Cholera is a devastating diarrhoeal disease caused by certain strains of serogroup O1/O139 Vibrio cholerae. Mobile genetic elements such as genomic islands (GIs) have been pivotal in the evolution of O1/O139 V. cholerae. Perhaps the most important GI involved in cholera disease is the V. cholerae pathogenicity island 1 (VPI-1). This GI contains the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP) gene cluster that is necessary for colonization of the human intestine as well as being the receptor for infection by the cholera-toxin bearing CTX phage. In this study, we report a GI (designated GIVchS12) from a non-O1/O139 strain of V. cholerae that is present in the same chromosomal location as VPI-1, contains an integrase gene with 94% nucleotide and 100% protein identity to the VPI-1 integrase, and attachment (att) sites 100% identical to those found in VPI-1. However, instead of TCP and the other accessory genes present in VPI-1, GIVchS12 contains a CRISPR-Cas element and a type VI secretion system (T6SS). GIs similar to GIVchS12 were identified in other V. cholerae genomes, also containing CRISPR-Cas elements and/or T6SS's. This study highlights the diversity of GIs circulating in natural V. cholerae populations and identifies GIs with VPI-1 recombination characteristics as a propagator of CRISPR-Cas and T6SS modules.
Viet, KN, King, WL, Siboni, N, Mahbub, KR, Dove, M, O'connor, W, Seymour, J & Labbate, M 2019, 'The Sydney rock oyster microbiome is influenced by local environmental parameters and QX disease resistance', FISH & SHELLFISH IMMUNOLOGY, ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, pp. 438-438.View/Download from: Publisher's site