Molecular Analysis of the Intestinal Microbial Community in an Herbivorous Snail, Caracolus Caracolla

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Spring 2011

Project Description/Abstract

Microbial communities in the intestinal tracts of animals are often important for digestion, especially of plant matter. Knowledge of these communities is critical for an understanding of physiology and complex interactions among species. Moreover, the discovery of new microbes inhabiting the intestines of animals may provide tangible benefits to humans, such as promising new antimicrobial drugs. Nevertheless, microbial communities of most invertebrates are poorly understood. We propose to use a variety of molecular techniques to characterize the bacterial microflora inhabiting the intestines of Caracolus caracolla, a large and abundant snail in montane rain forests of Puerto Rico. Using these data, we will then evaluate how microbial communities in C. caracolla differ among snails collected from different habitats.

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