Presentation Title

Sea Lion Fecal Bacterial Community Alteration Following Antibiotic Treatment

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-27

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

As global ocean temperatures rise, fish populations migrate north in search of colder waters. In effect, California sea lions, Zalophus californianus, inhabiting the Channel Islands must travel farther north to forage, leaving their pups for longer periods of time between feedings. The extended separation between mother and pup results in malnourishment and leads to disease. These pups are often found stranded on the shores of the California coast. The Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute (CIMWI) is a local rescue organization committed to rescuing, providing medical attention, and rehabilitating marine mammals. Once healthy and rehabilitated, these animals are released back into the wild. With the assistance of CIMWI staff and chief veterinarian, Dr. Sam Dover, we are studying the gut microbial population of sea lion pups in hopes of finding new ways to improve treatment during rehabilitation.

The purpose of this research is to compare the gut microbial population of pups before, during, and after CIMWI care, which includes the administration of antibiotics, probiotics, and a controlled diet within a regulated environment. CIMWI staff collected fecal samples from pups upon entering rehabilitation, twenty days after antibiotic administration, and before release. We extracted metagenomic DNA from 55 samples and performed PCR to amplify Bacterial and Archaeal DNA sequences of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (ssu rRNA). Each sample was tagged with a unique barcode. Samples were pooled, diluted, and sequenced using the IlluminaⓇ MiSeq Next-Generation Sequencer. To analyze the ssu rRNA sequence data, we are using QIIME software to evaluate sequence quality and determine phylogenetic identity. Using the HHMI Cluster, we are comparing microbial communities between sea lions and along the time course of their rehabilitation. We expect that the gut microbial populations will differ between sea lions upon admission to CIMWI, become similar during treatment, and healthy prior to release.

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Sea Lion Fecal Bacterial Community Alteration Following Antibiotic Treatment

HUB 302-27

As global ocean temperatures rise, fish populations migrate north in search of colder waters. In effect, California sea lions, Zalophus californianus, inhabiting the Channel Islands must travel farther north to forage, leaving their pups for longer periods of time between feedings. The extended separation between mother and pup results in malnourishment and leads to disease. These pups are often found stranded on the shores of the California coast. The Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute (CIMWI) is a local rescue organization committed to rescuing, providing medical attention, and rehabilitating marine mammals. Once healthy and rehabilitated, these animals are released back into the wild. With the assistance of CIMWI staff and chief veterinarian, Dr. Sam Dover, we are studying the gut microbial population of sea lion pups in hopes of finding new ways to improve treatment during rehabilitation.

The purpose of this research is to compare the gut microbial population of pups before, during, and after CIMWI care, which includes the administration of antibiotics, probiotics, and a controlled diet within a regulated environment. CIMWI staff collected fecal samples from pups upon entering rehabilitation, twenty days after antibiotic administration, and before release. We extracted metagenomic DNA from 55 samples and performed PCR to amplify Bacterial and Archaeal DNA sequences of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (ssu rRNA). Each sample was tagged with a unique barcode. Samples were pooled, diluted, and sequenced using the IlluminaⓇ MiSeq Next-Generation Sequencer. To analyze the ssu rRNA sequence data, we are using QIIME software to evaluate sequence quality and determine phylogenetic identity. Using the HHMI Cluster, we are comparing microbial communities between sea lions and along the time course of their rehabilitation. We expect that the gut microbial populations will differ between sea lions upon admission to CIMWI, become similar during treatment, and healthy prior to release.