Preliminary observations on the microbiome of Trachemys scripta scripta using affordable 16S technologies
Quantifying the microbiome of amphibians and reptiles has the potential to elucidate health, population survival, and ecological dynamics of species in aquatic habitats. Emerging, affordable technologies can provide researchers with baseline data on the microbiome (primarily bacterial communities) of herpeto fauna, an area receiving increasing study. The microbiome of a common freshwater turtle species, Trachemys scripta scripta, was evaluated using an affordable 16 S microbiome kit, u Biome Explorer™. This method successfully reported high species diversity identifications from a single turtle fecal sample, with comparable relative percentage of specific taxonomic groupings primarily from the phyla Bacteriodetes, Firmucutes, and Proteobacteria from 127 genera. Researchers should consider collecting baseline microbiome data from herpeto fauna species for conservation and ecological studies.