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Research on the microbiomes of animals has increased substantially within the past decades. More recently, microbial analyses of aquatic invertebrates have become of increased interest. The storage method used while collecting aquatic invertebrates has not been standardized throughout the scientific community, and the effects of common storage methods on the microbial composition of the organism is unknown. Using crayfish and dragonfly nymphs collected from a natural pond and crayfish maintained in an aquarium, the effects of two common storage methods, preserving in 95% ethanol and freezing at −20 °C, on the invertebrate bacterial microbiome was evaluated. We found that the bacterial community was conserved for two sample types (gut and exoskeleton) of field-collected crayfish stored either in ethanol or frozen, as was the gut microbiome of aquarium crayfish. However, there were significant differences between the bacterial communities found on the exoskeleton of aquarium crayfish stored in ethanol compared to those that were frozen. Dragonfly nymphs showed significant differences in gut microbial composition between species, but the microbiome was conserved between storage methods. These results demonstrate that preserving field-collected specimens of aquatic invertebrates in 95% ethanol is likely to be a simple and effective sample preservation method for subsequent gut microbiomemore »Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
Environment and Co-occurring Native Mussel Species, but Not Host Genetics, Impact the Microbiome of a Freshwater Invasive Species (Corbicula fluminea)The Asian clam Corbicula fluminea (Family: Cyneridae) has aggressively invaded freshwater habitats worldwide, resulting in dramatic ecological changes and declines of native bivalves such as freshwater mussels (Family: Unionidae), one of the most imperiled faunal groups. Despite increases in our knowledge of invasive C. fluminea biology, little is known of how intrinsic and extrinsic factors, including co-occurring native species, influence its microbiome. We investigated the gut bacterial microbiome across genetically differentiated populations of C. fluminea in the Tennessee and Mobile River Basins in the Southeastern United States and compared them to those of six co-occurring species of native freshwater mussels. The gut microbiome of C. fluminea was diverse, differed with environmental conditions and varied spatially among rivers, but was unrelated to host genetic variation. Microbial source tracking suggested that the gut microbiome of C. fluminea may be influenced by the presence of co-occurring native mussels. Inferred functions from 16S rRNA gene data using PICRUST2 predicted a high prevalence and diversity of degradation functions in the C. fluminea microbiome, especially the degradation of carbohydrates and aromatic compounds. Such modularity and functional diversity of the microbiome of C. fluminea may be an asset, allowing to acclimate to an extensive range of nutritionalmore »Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 4, 2023