Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors
Pisaster ochraceous, sea star wasting, microbiome, Tenacibaculum, Pseudoalteromonas
The largest epidemic of sea star wasting disease is affecting over 20 different species of sea stars in the west coast of the United States. The etiology of sea star wasting disease is currently unknown. Given the important role an organism’s bacterial community plays in health and disease, we sought to compare the composition of the microbiome of sick and healthy Pisaster ochraceous sea stars. Because tissue types often differ in their microbiomes, we also compared body wall, tube feet, ampullae, stomach, pyloric caeca, gonad, and cross section tissues. To do this, we used 16s amplicon sequencing to classify the bacterial communities and compare across disease state and tissue type. We found some degree of overlap in the microbiome of sick and healthy tissues, with Tenacibaculum as the most common genera of higher differential abundance. We also found clustering by tissue type, and stomach and body wall tissue particularly differed from other tissues in their bacterial composition.
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Nesnevich, Becky, "Microbiome composition of Pisaster ochraceous sea stars affected by sea star wasting disease" (2018). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 252.