Saudi researchers determine giant fish gut bacteria help to digest algae

October 12, 2017 |

In Saudi Arabia, Red Sea surgeonfish use metabolically diverse giant bacteria to digest different types of algae, according to new research. Not only do these findings explain the basis of surgeonfish diversity, but they may also provide a valuable genetic resource for biofuel research.

An international team led by King Abdullah University of Science & Technology researchers used high-throughput sequencing techniques to study symbiotic microbe communities in the intestines of marine-algae-feeding Red Sea surgeonfish. By analyzing the genomes, they discovered that the communities are dominated by a single group of giant bacteria known as Epulopiscium, and that they lack the diversity found in the microbiomes of terrestrial herbivores.

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Category: Research

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