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Compositional and functional features of the gut microbiota of the intertidal snail Nerita yoldii along China's coast

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 April 2022

Ya-Jie Zhu
The Key Laboratory of Mariculture, Ministry of Education, Fisheries College, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, PR China
Ming-Ling Liao*
The Key Laboratory of Mariculture, Ministry of Education, Fisheries College, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, PR China
Meng-Wen Ding
State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, College of Marine and Earth Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361000, PR China
Zhao-Kai Wang
Third Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Xiamen 361005, China
Yun-Wei Dong*
The Key Laboratory of Mariculture, Ministry of Education, Fisheries College, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, PR China Function Laboratory for Marine Fisheries Science and Food Production Processes, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266235, PR China
Author for correspondence: Ming-ling Liao, E-mail:; Yun-Wei Dong, E-mail:
Author for correspondence: Ming-ling Liao, E-mail:; Yun-Wei Dong, E-mail:


The gut microbiota plays an important role in animals’ survival in their local environments. The intertidal rocky shore is a key interface of oceanic, atmospheric and terrestrial environments, and the transmission modes of microbes between an intertidal host and the environment are complex and largely ignored. In the present study, we characterized the gut microbiota of the intertidal snail Nerita yoldii, which is experiencing a northward range shift under the combined impacts of climate change and anthropogenic seascape transformation, and also determined the nearby environmental microbiota on the rock and in the seawater at five locations along the snail's distribution range in China. The gut microbial communities were significantly different from the environmental microbial communities, and the dominant phyla were Tenericutes, Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria in the gut, rock and seawater microbial communities, respectively. At the genus level, Mycoplasma, with a relative abundance of 48.0 ± 10.2%, was the dominant genus in the gut microbial community, however, the relative abundances of this genus on the rock and in the water were low. These results imply that the gut microbial community of the intertidal snail N. yoldii is relatively independent from the environmental microbial community, and the dominant genus Mycoplasma in the gut, that is rare in the environment, can potentially assist the snail living in the harsh intertidal environment, especially at its northernmost distribution range edge.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

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Compositional and functional features of the gut microbiota of the intertidal snail Nerita yoldii along China's coast
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