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Title: Bald sea urchin disease shifts the surface microbiome on purple sea urchins in an aquarium

Bald sea urchin disease (BSUD) is most likely a bacterial infection that occurs in a wide range of sea urchin species and causes the loss of surface appendages. The disease has a variety of additional symptoms, which may be the result of the many bacteria that are associated with BSUD. Previous studies have investigated causative agents of BSUD, however, there are few reports on the surface microbiome associated with the infection. Here, we report changes to the surface microbiome on purple sea urchins in a closed marine aquarium that contracted and then recovered from BSUD in addition to the microbiome of healthy sea urchins in a separate aquarium. 16S rRNA gene sequencing shows that microhabitats of different aquaria are characterized by different microbial compositions, and that diseased, recovered, and healthy sea urchins have distinct microbial compositions, which indicates that there is a correlation between microbial shifts and recovery from disease.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Pathogens and Disease
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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    Results show that spotting disease and BSUD are separate diseases with distinct symptoms and distinct microbial compositions.

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