Aquatic Sciences

, Volume 77, Issue 3, pp 481–497 | Cite as

Declining diversity of egg-associated bacteria during development of naturally spawned whitefish embryos (Coregonus spp.)

  • Laetitia G. E. Wilkins
  • Aude Rogivue
  • Luca Fumagalli
  • Claus Wedekind
Research Article

Abstract

Fish eggs are associated with microbes, whose roles range from mutualism to parasitism. Recent laboratory experiments have shown that the taxonomic composition of associated microbial communities on the egg influences embryonic development. Host genetics also plays an important role in determining the consequences for embryonic growth and survival in this interaction. Moreover, it has been found that the importance of host genetics increases during embryogenesis. These findings suggest that during embryogenesis, the host increasingly influences the composition of its associated microbial community. However, little is known about the composition of microbial communities associated with naturally spawned eggs in the wild. We sampled fertilized whitefish eggs (Coregonus spp.) of different developmental stages from six sub-Alpine lakes and used a universal primer pair and 454 pyrosequencing in order to describe the taxonomic composition of egg-associated bacterial communities. We found bacterial communities on early embryos to be very diverse and to resemble the bacterial composition of the surrounding water environment. The bacterial communities on late embryos were significantly less diverse than on early embryos and displayed a clear shift in taxonomic composition that corresponded poorly with the bacterial composition of the surrounding water environment. The main bacterial components on whitefish eggs in this study were Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes, while the five most common families were Leuconostocaceae, Streptococcaceae, Comamonadaceae, Oxalobacteraceae and Moraxellaceae. Their putative relationships with the host are discussed. We conclude that natural symbiotic bacterial communities become more specialized during embryogenesis because of specific interactions with their embryo host.

Keywords

Bacterial community Coregonus Metagenomics Microbiome Salmonids Whitefish 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The fieldwork was permitted by the fisheries authorities of the cantons of Berne, Lucerne, and Vaud. We thank Philippe Amiet, Joachim Guthruf, Frédéric Hofmann, Christoph Küng, Joseph Muggli, Rudolph Müller, Patrick Porchet, Rolf Schneider, and Gérard Zürcher for permissions, organizational support, or help in finding the spawning places and collecting the eggs. Cathérine Berney, Gregory Brazzola, Emily Clark, Hélène Collin, Lucas Marques da Cunha, Miguel dos Santos, Simon Gingins, Marianne Johner, Catalina Luca, Yves Poirier, Manuel Pompini, Thorsten Reusch, Adin Ross-Gillespie, Vladimir Sentchilo, Rike Stelkens, Pierre Taberlet, Anshu Uppal, Jan Roelof van der Meer, Beat von Siebenthal, Donny Wilkins, Fardo Witsenburg, and Erika Yashiro are thanked for assistance or discussion, and the Swiss National Science Foundation for financial support. We also thank Stuart Findlay and two anonymous reviewers for comments on the manuscript. L. Wilkins was supported by a fellowship in Life Sciences from the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne.

Supplementary material

27_2015_392_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (955 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 954 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laetitia G. E. Wilkins
    • 1
  • Aude Rogivue
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luca Fumagalli
    • 1
  • Claus Wedekind
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolution, BiophoreUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.WSL Swiss Federal Research InstituteBirmensdorfSwitzerland

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