University Of Tasmania

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Molecular analysis of the bacterial communities in the live Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) and the influence of postharvest temperature on its structure

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 11:29 authored by Fernandez Piquer, J, John BowmanJohn Bowman, Thomas RossThomas Ross, Mark TamplinMark Tamplin

Aims: To evaluate the effect of postharvest temperature on bacterial communities in live Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) using nonculture-based methods.

Methods and Results: Live oysters were compared before and after storage at 4, 6, 15, 20 and 30 Celsius Degree using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP). Bacterial communities in freshly harvested (control) vs stored oysters were significantly different. Changes in bacterial communities at 4, 15 and 30 Celsius Degree observed by T-RFLP were further investigated by clone library analysis. Members of the Proteobacteria predominated (43.0-57.0% of clones) in control oysters, while storage altered the bacterial profile. At 4 Celsius Degree, Psychrilyobacter spp.(phylum Fusobacteria) predominated (43.8% of clones), while at 15 and 30 Celsius Degree, members of the phylum Bacteroidetes represented 63.0 and 60.2% of clones, respectively. High microbial diversity in oysters was observed, with at least 73 different genera-related clones among all samples.

Conclusions: Changes in the overall bacterial community of Pacific oysters were influenced by storage temperature and would likely not be detected by standard culture-based methods currently used to assess oyster quality. Certain dominant genera, such as Psychrilyobacter, Polynucleobacter and a bacterial group related to Alkaliflexus, should be further studied as possible indicators for postharvest temperature control.

Significance and Impact of the Study: This work is the first report describing the effect of different storage temperatures on bacterial diversity in postharvest live Pacific oysters using molecular-based methods.


Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre


Publication title

Journal of Applied Microbiology










Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

9600 Garsington Rd, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox4 2Dg

Rights statement

Copyright 2012 The Society for Applied Microbiology

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Food safety