Short Communication

Elucidation of bacterial community structure on thin-spined porcupine (Chaetomys subspinosus) spines by denaturing

Published: October 02, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 11867-11875 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.October.2.20
Cite this Article:
(2015). Elucidation of bacterial community structure on thin-spined porcupine (Chaetomys subspinosus) spines by denaturing. Genet. Mol. Res. 14(4): gmr6783. https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.October.2.20
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Abstract

Thin-spined porcupines (Chaetomys subspinosus) are threatened with extinction and are categorized as vulnerable. This is because of alteration to and loss of their habitat and possible hunting activities in their distribution area. Their spines constitute one of their defense mechanisms, which can be fomites for pathogens to humans. However, little is known about such pathogens. The present study aimed to detect bacteria on spines of C. subspinosus, from the Una Biological Reserve, South of Bahia, northeastern Brazil, by analyzing metagenomic DNA, isolating bacterial culture, using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) technique, and sequencing. Six anatomical points were selected for withdrawing spine samples from an individual C. subspinosus. At all sample points, bacteria were detected by bacteriological culture and/or DGGE and sequencing of excised bands. When all samples were combined, standard PCR-DGGE analysis of bacteria present in the spines identified 15 distinct bands, thereby revealing a distinct bacterial community. The main pathogens identified through sequencing were Bacillus cereus, B. thuringiensis, B. anthracis, and B. pumilus. The present study demonstrated the isolation and identification of non-pathogenic and pathogenic bacteria on the spines of C. subspinosus.

Thin-spined porcupines (Chaetomys subspinosus) are threatened with extinction and are categorized as vulnerable. This is because of alteration to and loss of their habitat and possible hunting activities in their distribution area. Their spines constitute one of their defense mechanisms, which can be fomites for pathogens to humans. However, little is known about such pathogens. The present study aimed to detect bacteria on spines of C. subspinosus, from the Una Biological Reserve, South of Bahia, northeastern Brazil, by analyzing metagenomic DNA, isolating bacterial culture, using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) technique, and sequencing. Six anatomical points were selected for withdrawing spine samples from an individual C. subspinosus. At all sample points, bacteria were detected by bacteriological culture and/or DGGE and sequencing of excised bands. When all samples were combined, standard PCR-DGGE analysis of bacteria present in the spines identified 15 distinct bands, thereby revealing a distinct bacterial community. The main pathogens identified through sequencing were Bacillus cereus, B. thuringiensis, B. anthracis, and B. pumilus. The present study demonstrated the isolation and identification of non-pathogenic and pathogenic bacteria on the spines of C. subspinosus.