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Effects of host genetics and environment on egg-associated microbiotas in brown trout (Salmo trutta).
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Recent studies found fish egg-specific bacterial communities that changed over the course of embryogenesis, suggesting an interaction between the developing host and its microbiota. Indeed, single-strain infections demonstrated that the virulence of opportunistic bacteria is influenced by environmental factors and host immune genes. However, the interplay between a fish embryo host and its microbiota has not been studied yet at the community level. In order to test whether host genetics affects the assemblage of egg-associated bacteria, adult brown trout (Salmo trutta) were sampled from a natural population. Their gametes were used for full-factorial in vitro fertilizations to separate sire from dam effects. In total 2,520 embryos were singly raised under experimental conditions that differently support microbial growth. High-throughput 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing was applied to characterize bacterial communities on milt and fertilized eggs across treatments. Dam and sire identity influenced embryo mortality, time until hatching, and composition of egg-associated microbiotas, but no link between bacterial communities on milt and on fertilized eggs could be found. Elevated resources increased embryo mortality and modified bacterial communities with a shift in their putative functional potential. Resource availability did not significantly affect any parental effects on embryo performance. Sire identity affected bacterial diversity that turned out to be a significant predictor of hatching time: embryos associated with high bacterial diversity hatched later. We conclude that both host genetics and the availability of resources define diversity and composition of egg-associated bacterial communities that then affect the life-history of their hosts. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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