Microbial Community Assembly and Succession on Lake Sturgeon Egg Surfaces as a Function of Simulated Spawning Stream Flow Rate
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We investigated microbial succession on lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) egg surfaces over the course of their incubation period as a function of simulated stream flow rate. The primary objective was to characterize the microbial community assembly during succession and to examine how simulated stream flow rate affect the successional process. Sturgeon eggs were reared under three flow regimes; high (0.55 m/s), low (0.18 m/s), and variable (0.35 and 0.11 m/s alternating 12 h intervals). Eggs were collected from each flow regime at different egg developmental stages. Microbial community DNA was extracted from egg surface and the communities were examined using 16S rRNA gene-based terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and 454 pyrosequencing. Analysis of these datasets using principal component analysis revealed that microbial communities were clustered by egg developmental stages (early, middle, and late) regardless of flow regimes. 454 pyrosequencing data suggested that 90–98 % of the microbial communities were composed of the phyla Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes throughout succession. β-Protebacteria was more dominant in the early stage, Bacteroidetes became more dominant in the middle stage, and α-Proteobacteria became dominant in the late stage. A total of 360 genera and 5,826 OTUs at 97 % similarity cutoff were associated with the eggs. Midway through egg development, the egg-associated communities of the low flow regime had a higher diversity than those communities developed under high or variable flow regimes. Results show that microbial community turnover occurred during embryogenesis, and stream flow rate influenced the microbial succession processes on the sturgeon egg surfaces.
KeywordsMicrobial Community Flow Regime Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Microbial Community Composition Lake Sturgeon
We gratefully acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our field crew and colleagues: Christin Davis, Patrick Forsythe, and Edward Baker contributed to experimental setup and implementation. We thank the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, the Center for Water Sciences, Sustainable Michigan Environmental Program, and a USGS grant to TLM for providing funding for this project.
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