Influence of changing plant food sources on the gut microbiota of saltmarsh detritivores.

Abstract : Changes in agricultural land-use of saltmarshes along the German North Sea coast have favoured the succession of the marsh grass Elytrigia atherica over the long-established Spartina anglica. Consequently, E. atherica represents a potential food source of increasing importance for plant-feeding soil detritivores. Considering the importance of this ecological guild for decomposition processes and nutrient cycling, we focussed on two sympatric saltmarsh soil macrodetritivores and their associated gut microbiota to investigate how the digestive processes of these species may be affected by changing plant food sources. Using genetic fingerprints of partial 16S rRNA gene sequences, we analysed composition and diversity of the bacterial gut community in a diplopod and an amphipod crustacean in relation to different feeding regimes representing the natural vegetation changes. Effects of syntopy on the host-specific gut microbiota were also taken into account by feeding the two detritivore species either independently or on the same plant sample. Bacterial community composition was influenced by both the host species and the available plant food sources, but the latter had a stronger effect on microbial community structure. Furthermore, bacterial diversity was highest after feeding on a mixture of both plant species, regardless of the host species. The gut microbiota of these two detritivores can thus be expected to change along with the on-going succession at the plant community level in this environment. Cloning and sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragments further indicated a host-related effect since the two detritivores differed in terms of predominant bacterial taxa: diplopods harboured mainly representatives of the phyla Bacteroidetes and Gammaproteobacteria. In contrast, the genus Vibrio was found for the amphipod host across all feeding conditions.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 15, 2012 - 2:43:18 PM
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Jessica Dittmer, Jérôme Lesobre, Roland Raimond, Martin Zimmer, Didier Bouchon. Influence of changing plant food sources on the gut microbiota of saltmarsh detritivores.. Microbial Ecology, Springer Verlag, 2012, 64 (3), pp.814-825. ⟨10.1007/s00248-012-0056-4⟩. ⟨hal-00708668⟩



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