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Mar Pollut Bull. 2015 May 15;94(1-2):114-22. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.03.003. Epub 2015 Mar 14.

Response of microbial communities to bioturbation by artificially introducing macrobenthos to mudflat sediments for in situ bioremediation in a typical semi-enclosed bay, southeast China.

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Key Laboratory of Healthy Mariculture for the East China Sea, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries College of Jimei University, Xiamen 361021, China.
Key Laboratory of Urban Pollutant Conversion, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China.
Bioengineering College of Jimei University, Xiamen 361021, China. Electronic address:


Although microbes play important roles during the bioremediation process using macrobenthos in degraded environments, their response to macrobenthos bioturbation remains poorly understood. This study used 16S rRNA gene-Illumina Miseq sequencing to investigate the microbial communities and their response to bioturbation by artificially introducing macrobenthos to the mudflat of Sansha Bay, southeast China. A total of 56 phyla were identified, dominated by δ- and γ-Proteobacteria, with a total percentage of over 50%. Others, such as Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes and Alphaproteobacteria occupied 4-7% respectively. Eighteen genera indicating the microbial communities response to bioturbation and seasonal change were identified. Bioturbated samples contained more ecologically important genera, and untreated samples contained more genera ubiquitous in marine environments. The physicochemical characteristics did not change significantly probably due to the short time of bioremediation and low survival rate of macrobenthos, confirming that microbial communities are more sensitive and can serve as sentinels for environmental changes.


Bioturbation; Illumina Miseq amplicon sequencing; Intertidal mudflat; Macrobenthos; Microbial community structure; Sansha Bay

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