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Microb Ecol. 2008 Apr;55(3):425-34. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

The diversity of bacterial communities associated with Atlantic cod Gadus morhua.

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  • 1School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, University College Dublin, Ardmore House, Dublin 4, Ireland.


The spatial and temporal changes in the bacterial communities associated with the Atlantic cod Gadus morhua were investigated using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of 16S recombinant DNA (rDNA). Epidermal mucous was sampled from 366 cod caught in three harvest locations (Baltic, Icelandic, and North Seas) over three seasons (spring 2002, autumn 2002, and spring 2003), and an automated method for the high-throughput processing of environmental samples was developed using a Qiagen BioRobot. The analysis revealed that a diverse consortium of bacteria were found on fish; gamma-proteobacteria and Cytophaga-Flavobacter-Bacteroides (CFB) species were dominant. T-RFLP peak profiles suggested that operational taxonomic units (OTUs) related to Photobacterium sp., Psychrobacter sp., and Bacteroides sp. were common to all sites in all three seasons, but there were intersite variations in community composition. Cod caught from different seas had distinct reproducible bacterial assemblages. Whereas communities from fish caught in the Baltic and Icelandic Seas were relatively stable over the three seasons, those from fish from the North Sea changed significantly over time.

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