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Metagenomic analyses highlight the symbiotic association between the glacier stonefly Andiperla willinki and its bacterial gut community

Murakami, Takumi, Segawa, Takahiro, Takeuchi, Nozomu, Barcaza Sepúlveda, Gonzalo, Labarca, Pedro, Kohshima, Shiro, Hongoh, Yuichi
Environmental microbiology 2018 v.20 no.11 pp. 4170-4183
Lachnospiraceae, Plecoptera, Polaromonas, algae, bacteria, data collection, digestive system, fluorescence in situ hybridization, genes, glaciers, habitats, intestinal microorganisms, metagenomics, nutrition, nymphs, phylotype, polysaccharides, ribosomal RNA
The glacier stonefly Andiperla willinki is the largest metazoan inhabiting the Patagonian glaciers. In this study, we analysed the gut microbiome of the aquatic nymphs by 16S rRNA gene amplicon and metagenomic sequencing. The bacterial gut community was consistently dominated by taxa typical of animal digestive tracts, such as Dysgonomonadaceae and Lachnospiraceae, as well as those generally indigenous to glacier environments, such as Polaromonas. Interestingly, the dominant Polaromonas phylotypes detected in the stonefly gut were almost never detected in the glacier surface habitat. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis revealed that the bacterial lineages typical of animal guts colonized the gut wall in a co‐aggregated form, while Polaromonas cells were not included in the aggregates. Draft genomes of several dominant bacterial lineages were reconstructed from metagenomic datasets and indicated that the predominant Dysgonomonadaceae bacterium is capable of degrading various polysaccharides derived from host‐ingested food, such as algae, and that other dominant bacterial lineages ferment saccharides liberated by the polysaccharide degradation. Our results suggest that the gut bacteria–host association in the glacier stonefly contributes to host nutrition as well as material cycles in the glacier environment.