No correlation between microbiota composition and blood parameters in nesting flatback turtles (Natator depressus)

T. Franciscus Scheelings, Robert J. Moore, Thi Thu Hao Van, Marcel Klaassen, Richard D. Reina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The microbiota is considered critical for normal vertebrate homeostasis and it may exert its effects at a local level within the gastrointestinal tract, or systemically through the production of bacterial metabolites. To date, investigations into the role that the microbiota plays in reptile physiology are rare. To address this knowledge gap, we explored the relationship between differences in microbial communities to see if they accounted for differences in haematology and biochemistry values, in different populations of nesting flatback turtles (Natator depressus). We found that microbiota composition was not correlated to any of the blood analytes we measured in flatbacks. This study is the first of its kind in reptiles and highlights the need for further investigations to determine mechanisms by which the microbiota influences the physiology and health of reptiles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8333
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020


  • biochemistry
  • microbiome

Cite this