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Habitat and ontogenetic-associated differences in the skin microbiome of two Stegastes damselfishes (Pomacentridae) from the eastern Caribbean Sea

PUBLISHED June 7, 2022 (DOI: https://doi.org/10.54985/peeref.2206p1228662)



Raquel Xavier1 , Ana Pereira1 , Andres Pagan1 , Gina Hendrick2 , Matthew Nicholson2 , Daniela Rosado1 , Marta Soares1 , Marcos Perez-Losada3 , Paul Sikkel2
  1. Cibio – InBio, University of Porto
  2. Department of Biology, Arkansas State University
  3. Computational Biology Institute, The George Washington University

Conference / event

The 39th AMLC Scientific Meeting, May 2019 (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)

Poster summary

Juveniles and adults of two species of Stegastes damselfish were sampled in reef and lagoon habitats in Western Puerto Rico and Brewers Bay St Thomas, USVI. Skins were swabbed and the V4 hypervariable region of 16s rRNA gene was amplified. High intraspecific variability was found with locality and habitat type significantly influencing skin microbiome composition with several pathogenic taxa identified in samples collected from lagoon habitat. Increasing temperatures and anthropogenic impacts may increase abundance and impact of pathogenic bacteria in lower quality habitats (lagoons).


symbiosis, microbiome, 16s RNA, marine ecology

Research areas

Ecology and Forestry


No data provided


  1. National Science Foundation (No. OCE-1536794 (PC Sikkel, PI))
  2. Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) (No. PTDC/MAR-BIO/0902/2014-POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016550)

Supplemental files

No data provided

Additional information

Competing interests
No competing interests were disclosed.
Data availability statement
All raw data produced in this study are available at the National Center For Biotechnology (NCBI) Sequence Read Archive under the project PRJNA 599608.
Creative Commons license
Copyright © 2022 Xavier et al. This is an open access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Xavier, R., Pereira, A., Pagan, A., Hendrick, G., Nicholson, M., Rosado, D., Soares, M., Perez-Losada, M., Sikkel, P. Habitat and ontogenetic-associated differences in the skin microbiome of two Stegastes damselfishes (Pomacentridae) from the eastern Caribbean Sea [not peer reviewed]. Peeref 2022 (poster).
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