Publication Date

Spring 5-4-2021


School of Health Sciences


Biology: Biomedical Sciences; Health Promotion: Clinical Track


Microbiome, Crayfish, Microsites, Microhabitats, Freshwater, Bacteria


Environmental Education | Environmental Health and Protection


The goal of this study was to determine if the microbiome between two crayfish microhabitats were different from one other, in addition to the surrounding water and sediment. This project was a field-based study in which all environmental samples and crayfish were collected from a central Virginian freshwater stream. Molecular techniques were employed to sequence bacterial DNA from the various sample types and Qiime 2 was used to analyze statistical differences. The results from this study aligned well with the initial hypothesis in that the alpha-diversities between all of the sample types were statistically different (P<0.05) except for the gill chamber and surrounding water microbial assemblages. In addition, the Beta-diversity was statistically different when the bacterial composition of one sample type was compared to the composition of the other samples (P<0.05). This data aids in our understanding of the significance of microbes within a freshwater ecosystem and how they are distributed among freshwater organisms, such as the crayfish.