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Title: Gut Microbiomes of Freshwater Mussels (Unionidae) Are Taxonomically and Phylogenetically Variable across Years but Remain Functionally Stable
Freshwater mussels perform essential ecosystem functions, yet we have no information on how their microbiomes fluctuate over time. In this study, we examined temporal variation in the microbiome of six mussel species (Lampsilis ornata, Obovaria unicolor, Elliptio arca, Fusconaia cerina, Cyclonaias asperata, and Tritogonia verrucosa) sampled from the same river in 2016 and 2019. We examined the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and inferred functional (from 16S rRNA sequences) facets of their microbiome diversity. Significant differences between the two years were identified in five of the six species sampled. However, not all species that exhibited a temporally variable microbiome were functionally distinct across years, indicating functional redundancy within the mussel gut microbiome. Inferred biosynthesis pathways showed temporal variation in pathways involved in degradation, while pathways involved in cellular metabolism were stable. There was no evidence for phylosymbiosis across any facet of microbiome biodiversity. These results indicate that temporal variation is an important factor in the assembly of the gut microbiomes of freshwater mussels and provides further support that the mussel gut microbiome is involved in host development and activity.
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1831512 1831531
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National Science Foundation
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