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Biological Research

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CHARRIER, MAR YVONNE et al. Isolation and characterization of cultivable fermentative bacteria from the intestine of two edible snails, Helixpomatia and Cornu aspersum (Gastropoda: Pulmonata). Biol. Res. [online]. 2006, vol.39, n.4, pp.669-681. ISSN 0716-9760.

The intestinal microbiota of the edible snails Cornu aspersum fSyn: H. aspersa), and Helix pomatia were investigated by culture-based methods, 16S rRNA sequence analyses and phenotypic characterisations. The study was carried out on aestivating snails and two populations of H. pomatia were considered. The cultivable bacteria dominated in the distal part of the intestine, with up to 5.109 CFU g -1, but the Swedish H. pomatia appeared significantly less colonised, suggesting a higher sensitivity of its microbiota to climatic change. All the strains, but one, shared ≥ 97% sequence identity with reference strains. They were arranged into two taxa: the Gamma Proteobacteria with Buttiauxella, Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Kluyvera, Obesumbacterium, Raoultella and the Firmicutes with Enterococcus, Lactococcus, and Clostridium. According to the literature, these genera are mostly assigned to enteric environments or to phyllosphere, data in favour of culturing snails in contact with soil and plants. None of the strains were able to digest filter paper, Avicel cellulose or carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). Acetogens and methanogenic archaea were not cultivated, so the fate of hydrogen remains questionable. This microbiota could play important roles in the digestive process (fermentation) and the energy supply of the snail (L-lactate, acetate). The choice of cereals and plants by snail farmers should take into account the fermentative abilities of the intestinal microbiota

Keywords : Clostridium; edible snails; Enterobacteriaceae; Enterococci; gut microbiota; Lactococci.

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