Unveiling the egg microbiota of the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta in nesting beaches of the Mediterranean Sea

Luca Vecchioni, Antonino Pace, Arianna Sucato, Flavia Berlinghieri, Irene Cambera, Giulia Visconti, Sandra Hochscheid,, Marco Arculeo, Rosa Alduina*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

3 Citaten (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Microbes have central roles in the development and health of animals, being the introduction of specific microbial species a potential conservation strategy to protect animals from emerging diseases. Thus, insight into the microbiota of the species and their habitats is essential. In this manuscript, we report for the first time the bacterial composition of all the components (eggshells of hatched and unhatched eggs, internal content of unhatched eggs, intestinal content of hatchling and pipping sea turtles, and sand) of three nesting beaches of Caretta caretta along the Italian coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. The analysis of 26 amplicon samples was carried out using next-generation sequencing analysis, targeting V3–V4 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Samples featured mainly Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes, whose percentages depended on the sample type. Our results showed that, although from different sampling sites, the internal content of the unhatched eggs, intestinal content of hatchling and pipping sea turtles share the microbiota, which was yet different from that of eggshells and sand of the same nesting beach. This study suggests the maternal and environmental influence alongside a protective role of eggshells in shaping the egg microbiota of Caretta caretta sea turtles.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's18
TijdschriftPLoS ONE
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
StatusPublished - 26-mei-2022

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