Table of Contents
ISRN Microbiology
Volume 2012, Article ID 590385, 10 pages
Research Article

Molecular Characterisation of Bacterial Community Structure along the Intestinal Tract of Zebrafish (Danio rerio): A Pilot Study

1School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
2Labplus, Auckland City Hospital, P.O. Box 110031, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1148, New Zealand

Received 16 October 2011; Accepted 6 November 2011

Academic Editors: L. Brusetti and T. P. West

Copyright © 2012 Chuan-Ching Lan and Donald R. Love. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The bacterial composition along the intestinal tract of Danio rerio was investigated by cultivation-independent analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. Clone libraries were constructed for three compartments of the intestinal tract of individual fish. 566 individual clones were differentiated by amplified 16S rRNA gene restriction analysis (ARDRA), and clone representatives from each operational taxonomic unit (OTU) were sequenced. As reported in other studies, we found that Proteobacteria was the most prominent phylum among clone libraries from different fish. Data generated from this pilot study indicated some compositional differences in bacterial communities. Two dominant classes, Gammaproteobacteria and Bacilli, displayed different levels of abundance in different compartments; Gammaproteobacteria increased along the intestinal tract, while Bacilli decreased its abundance along the proximal-distal axis. Less obvious spatial patterns were observed for other classes. In general, bacterial diversity in the intestinal bulb was greater than that in the posterior intestine. Interindividual differences in bacterial diversity and composition were also noted in this study.