Diversity and antimicrobial potential in sea anemone and holothurian microbiomes.

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PubMed ID: 29742123

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León-Palmero E, Joglar V, Álvarez PA, Martín-Platero A, Llamas I, Reche I

PLoS One. 2018. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196178

COMMENT: Microbial pathogens, including bacteria and fungi, are responsible for multiple diseases. These infections affect not only humans but also crops, livestock, and aquaculture generating the need of new antimicrobial agents, in part, due to the increase in the antibiotic resistance of some pathogens. The use of microbial pesticides (microbes or their metabolites) has been suggested as a sustainable alternative to face this threat. In aquaculture, the fastest-growing food-producing sector, the disease outbreaks in the tanks or cages is one of the most recurrent problems and new antimicrobial products are necessary to control pathogenic bacteria in this particular food sector and to face the antibiotic resistance problem in general. Marine invertebrates contain symbiotic bacteria that coevolve and develop antimicrobial substances. These symbiotic bacteria are an underexplored source of new bioactive molecules to face the emerging antibiotic resistance in pathogens.

In this article the authors explore the antimicrobial activity of bacteria retrieved from the microbiota of two sea anemones (Anemonia sulcata, Actinia equina) and two holothurians (Holothuria tubulosa, Holothuria forskali). Microbiome species composition of the two sea anemones was similar between them but differed substantially of seawater bacteria. In contrast, microbiome species composition of the two holothurian species was different between them and in comparison with the bacteria in holothurian feces and seawater. In all the holobiont microbiomes Bacteroidetes was the predominant phylum.

Several symbiotic bacteria with antibacterial activity against human, plants or aquaculture pathogens and antifungal activity against plant pathogens were isolated and identified. The results of the antimicrobial screenings suggest an important biotechnological potential of the microbiota of these marine invertebrates.

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Javier Velasco