The Cephalopod Microbiome Project
In collaboration with the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA), colleagues and I are exploring the diversity of bacterial symbionts associated with cephalopods maintained in culture. Using 16S rRNA sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization, we identified a highly simplified microbiome in the European common cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, comprising a single dominant Vibrio amplicon sequence variant (ASV) in the gastrointestinal tract of captive animals and a single dominant ASV in the family Piscirickettsia associated with the gills. We are now expanding this survey to include additional cephalopod species at MBL, as well as wild-caught individuals (and potentially some deep-sea dwellers, stay tuned!), and are developing type cultures in the process with the goal of expanding the experimental toolkit for this highly promising system.