Mollusks are a diverse group of animals not only at the species level but also with respect to their habitat and behavior. Gastropods comprise 80% of the mollusks with approximately 62,000 living species including snails. Over the period of time, snails have evolved into marine, freshwater and terrestrial forms with a transitional shift in their feeding habits. From prehistoric times, mollusks have established an intimate relationship with humans. These animals are used as food, medicine, offering to gods and are also responsible for economic losses in the form of agricultural pests. As most of these animals feed on plant biomass, their guts have evolved to digest such lignocellulosic biomass with extraordinary efficiency. The plant fiber digestion in their guts depends predominantly on the metabolic activities of the gastro‐intestinal microflora. Besides digestive functions, the seasonal dynamic and spatial distribution of bacterial gut community largely influences cold hardiness and many other metabolic properties in snails. Here, we assessed an overview of the various bacterial populations dwelling in digestive tracts of snails. This chapter provides insights into the gut microbiome of various snails that can be exploited for various industrial applications such as biomass degradation, production of biofuel, paper, wine and laundry detergents.
Part of the book: Organismal and Molecular Malacology