Daniel H. Hayes, Matthew Grisnik, Spencer A. Stone, Zachary W. Tarter, Kyle Ritter, Lucille M. Yanckello, Logan E. Oatman, Lydia E. Meyers, Caroline C. Pellegrino, Carlos D. Camp, Donald M. Walker, and Jessica A. Wooten

The Ocoee Salamander (Desmognathus ocoee) is a streamside salamander endemic to the southeastern USA.  Like other salamander species, D. ocoee hosts a diverse assemblage of microorganisms on its skin. In this study, we characterized the culturable cutaneous microbiome of six D. ocoee individuals using standard microbiological techniques and Sanger DNA sequencing. We isolated 41 bacterial colonies that occurred primarily in the bacterial phyla Proteobacteria (n = 27) and Bacteroidetes (n = 9). A SIMPER analysis indicated that skin bacterial communities on individual salamanders were 42.5% similar to one another. A Kruskal-Wallis test indicated that the individual salamanders did not differ from one another at the bacterial rank of family. This work documents foundational knowledge on the microbiome hosted by the skin of D. ocoee.

 

Key words. — Amphibian, Bacteroidetes, direct colony PCR, probiotics, Proteobacteria, streamside salamander