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The Science of Nature

, 103:25 | Cite as

Gut bacterial communities across tadpole ecomorphs in two diverse tropical anuran faunas

  • Miguel VencesEmail author
  • Mariana L. Lyra
  • Jordan G. Kueneman
  • Molly C. Bletz
  • Holly M. Archer
  • Julia Canitz
  • Svenja Handreck
  • Roger-Daniel Randrianiaina
  • Ulrich Struck
  • Sabin Bhuju
  • Michael Jarek
  • Robert Geffers
  • Valerie J. McKenzie
  • Christoph C. Tebbe
  • Célio F. B. Haddad
  • Julian Glos
Original Paper

Abstract

Animal-associated microbial communities can play major roles in the physiology, development, ecology, and evolution of their hosts, but the study of their diversity has yet focused on a limited number of host species. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing of partial sequences of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to assess the diversity of the gut-inhabiting bacterial communities of 212 specimens of tropical anuran amphibians from Brazil and Madagascar. The core gut-associated bacterial communities among tadpoles from two different continents strongly overlapped, with eight highly represented operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in common. In contrast, the core communities of adults and tadpoles from Brazil were less similar with only one shared OTU. This suggests a community turnover at metamorphosis. Bacterial diversity was higher in tadpoles compared to adults. Distinct differences in composition and diversity occurred among gut bacterial communities of conspecific tadpoles from different water bodies and after experimental fasting for 8 days, demonstrating the influence of both environmental factors and food on the community structure. Communities from syntopic tadpoles clustered by host species both in Madagascar and Brazil, and the Malagasy tadpoles also had species-specific isotope signatures. We recommend future studies to analyze the turnover of anuran gut bacterial communities at metamorphosis, compare the tadpole core communities with those of other aquatic organisms, and assess the possible function of the gut microbiota as a reservoir for protective bacteria on the amphibian skin.

Keywords

Amphibia Anura Tadpoles Gut microbiota 16S rRNA Stable isotopes 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Work in Madagascar was made possible by a collaboration accord between the Université d’Antananarivo (Département de Biologie Animale), the Ministère de l’Environnement, des Eaux et Forêts of the Republic of Madagascar, and the Technische Universität Braunschweig. We are grateful to the Malagasy authorities for research and export permits. We are deeply indebted to Otto Larink (TU Braunschweig) for his kind help with identifying the tadpole food items. Meike Kondermann was of invaluable help with lab work. Work in Madagascar was supported by the Volkswagen Foundation to MV, JG, and RDR; by grants of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft to MV (VE247/2-1 and VE247/9-1) and JG (GL 665/1-1); and by fellowships of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst to MB and RDR. Maria J. O. Campos and Marcelo de Carvalho authorized our entry into the work area in Itapé, Rio Claro, SP, Brazil. Work in Brazil was supported by a visiting researcher grant of CAPES to MV, CFBH, and ML (88881.062205/2014-01). CFBH thanks grant #2013/50741-7, São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and CNPq, for a research fellowship. Experiments were approved by the Ethics Committee of UNESP Rio Claro (permit no. 36/2015).

Supplementary material

114_2016_1348_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.2 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 1207 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Vences
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mariana L. Lyra
    • 2
  • Jordan G. Kueneman
    • 3
  • Molly C. Bletz
    • 1
  • Holly M. Archer
    • 3
  • Julia Canitz
    • 1
    • 4
  • Svenja Handreck
    • 1
    • 5
  • Roger-Daniel Randrianiaina
    • 6
  • Ulrich Struck
    • 7
  • Sabin Bhuju
    • 8
  • Michael Jarek
    • 8
  • Robert Geffers
    • 8
  • Valerie J. McKenzie
    • 3
  • Christoph C. Tebbe
    • 9
  • Célio F. B. Haddad
    • 2
  • Julian Glos
    • 10
  1. 1.Zoological InstituteTechnische Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany
  2. 2.Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de BiociênciasUNESP - Univ Estadual PaulistaRio ClaroBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  4. 4.Evolutionary Biology and Special Zoology, Institute for Biochemistry and BiologyUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  5. 5.Visualization GroupOtto-von-Guericke UniversityMagdeburgGermany
  6. 6.Département de Biologie AnimaleUniversité d’AntananarivoAntananarivoMadagascar
  7. 7.Museum für NaturkundeLeibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und BiodiversitätsforschungBerlinGermany
  8. 8.Department of Genome AnalyticsHelmholtz Centre for Infection ResearchBraunschweigGermany
  9. 9.Thünen Institute of BiodiversityBraunschweigGermany
  10. 10.Department of Animal Ecology and ConservationUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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