Host’s genetic background determines the outcome of reciprocal faecal transplantation on life-history traits and microbiome composition
Juottonen, H., Moghadam, N. N., Murphy, L., Mappes, J., & Galarza, J. A. (2022). Host’s genetic background determines the outcome of reciprocal faecal transplantation on life-history traits and microbiome composition. Animal microbiome, 4, Article 67. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42523-022-00210-y
Published inAnimal microbiome
DisciplineEvoluutiotutkimus (huippuyksikkö)Ekologia ja evoluutiobiologiaCentre of Excellence in Evolutionary ResearchEcology and Evolutionary Biology
© The Author(s) 2022
Background Microbes play a role in their host's fundamental ecological, chemical, and physiological processes. Host life-history traits from defence to growth are therefore determined not only by the abiotic environment and genotype but also by microbiota composition. However, the relative importance and interactive effects of these factors may vary between organisms. Such connections remain particularly elusive in Lepidoptera, which have been argued to lack a permanent microbiome and have microbiota primarily determined by their diet and environment. We tested the microbiome specificity and its influence on life-history traits of two colour genotypes of the wood tiger moth (Arctia plantaginis) that differ in several traits, including growth. All individuals were grown in the laboratory for several generations with standardized conditions. We analyzed the bacterial community of the genotypes before and after a reciprocal frass (i.e., larval faeces) transplantation and followed growth rate, pupal mass, and the production of defensive secretion. Results After transplantation, the fast-growing genotype grew significantly slower compared to the controls, but the slow-growing genotype did not change its growth rate. The frass transplant also increased the volume of defensive secretions in the fast-growing genotype but did not affect pupal mass. Overall, the fast-growing genotype appeared more susceptible to the transplantation than the slow-growing genotype. Microbiome differences between the genotypes strongly suggest genotype-based selective filtering of bacteria from the diet and environment. A novel cluster of insect-associated Erysipelotrichaceae was exclusive to the fast-growing genotype, and specific Enterococcaceae were characteristic to the slow-growing genotype. These Enterococcaceae became more prevalent in the fast-growing genotype after the transplant, which suggests that a slower growth rate is potentially related to their presence. Conclusions We show that reciprocal frass transplantation can reverse some genotype-specific life-history traits in a lepidopteran host. The results indicate that genotype-specific selective filtering can fine-tune the bacterial community at specific life stages and tissues like the larval frass, even against a background of a highly variable community with stochastic assembly. Altogether, our findings suggest that the host's genotype can influence its susceptibility to being colonized by microbiota, impacting key life-history traits. ...
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Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Programme, AoF; Academy Project, AoF
Additional information about fundingThis project was funded by the Academy of Finland Grant 322536 to JAG and 328474 and 345091 to JM.
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