Special Issue "Coevolution of Hosts and their Microbiome"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Philipp Heeb

Laboratoire Évolution et Diversité Biologique (EDB), UMR 5174 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Host-microbiota interactions; Social foraging and competition; Parent-offspring communication; Host-Parasite interactions and host-life history traits;
Guest Editor
Dr. Alexandre Jousset

Ecology and Biodiversity, Department of Biology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Interests: biodiversity; plant-microbe interactions; microbiology; soil ecology; sustainable agriculture; disease ecology
Guest Editor
Dr. Ville-Petri Friman

Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: host-microbe interactions; experimental evolution; microbial ecology; eco-evolutionary dynamics; microbe-microbe interactions
Guest Editor
Dr. Morten Tønsberg Limborg

National History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Population genomics; speciation; host-microbe interactions; applied hologenomics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The evolution of life-history traits in plants and animals has taken place in the midst of complex microbial communities. Biology is undergoing a fundamental reshaping where the phenotypic expression of individuals needs to be considered as the combined expression of the host and its associated microbial genomes, defined as the "holobiont” (i.e., the host and its microbiota). These concepts have wide ranging implications and have led to the realization that multicellular organisms coevolve with their microbial symbionts. Although host-microbe interactions can be understood by ecological processes, much less is known about the significance of evolutionary and eco-evolutionary processes. Given its complex structure, understanding the specific roles, adaptability, and functions provided by the microbiome is a new scientific frontier. This Special Issue will reflect recent developments in molecular and statistical techniques to discuss theoretical concepts and empirical evidences on the role of the microbiota in holobiont evolution.

Dr. Philipp Heeb
Dr. Alexandre Jousset
Dr. Ville-Petri Friman
Dr. Morten Tønsberg Limborg
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Host-microbe interactions
  • co-evolution
  • holobiont
  • microbiota
  • adaptation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Seasonal and Sexual Differences in the Microbiota of the Hoopoe Uropygial Secretion
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 23 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 11 August 2018
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Abstract
The uropygial gland of hoopoe nestlings and nesting females hosts bacterial symbionts that cause changes in the characteristics of its secretion, including an increase of its antimicrobial activity. These changes occur only in nesting individuals during the breeding season, possibly associated with the
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The uropygial gland of hoopoe nestlings and nesting females hosts bacterial symbionts that cause changes in the characteristics of its secretion, including an increase of its antimicrobial activity. These changes occur only in nesting individuals during the breeding season, possibly associated with the high infection risk experienced during the stay in the hole-nests. However, the knowledge on hoopoes uropygial gland microbial community dynamics is quite limited and based so far on culture-dependent and molecular fingerprinting studies. In this work, we sampled wild and captive hoopoes of different sex, age, and reproductive status, and studied their microbiota using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and pyrosequencing. Surprisingly, we found a complex bacterial community in all individuals (including non-nesting ones) during the breeding season. Nevertheless, dark secretions from nesting hoopoes harbored significantly higher bacterial density than white secretions from breeding males and both sexes in winter. We hypothesize that bacterial proliferation may be host-regulated in phases of high infection risk (i.e., nesting). We also highlight the importance of specific antimicrobial-producing bacteria present only in dark secretions that may be key in this defensive symbiosis. Finally, we discuss the possible role of environmental conditions in shaping the uropygial microbiota, based on differences found between wild and captive hoopoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coevolution of Hosts and their Microbiome)
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Open AccessArticle Gut Microbiota of Great Spotted Cuckoo Nestlings is a Mixture of Those of Their Foster Magpie Siblings and of Cuckoo Adults
Received: 23 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
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Abstract
Diet and host genetic or evolutionary history are considered the two main factors determining gut microbiota of animals, although studies are scarce in natural populations. The system of great spotted cuckoos (Clamator glandarius) parasitizing magpies (Pica pica) is ideal
[...] Read more.
Diet and host genetic or evolutionary history are considered the two main factors determining gut microbiota of animals, although studies are scarce in natural populations. The system of great spotted cuckoos (Clamator glandarius) parasitizing magpies (Pica pica) is ideal to study both effects since magpie adults feed cuckoo and magpie nestlings with the same diet and, consequently, differences in gut microbiota of nestlings of these two species will mainly reflect the importance of genetic components. Moreover, the diet of adults and of nestling cuckoos drastically differ from each other and, thus, differences and similarities in their microbiotas would respectively reflect the effect of environmental and genetic factors. We used next-generation sequencing technologies to analyze the gut microbiota of cuckoo adults and nestlings and of magpie nestlings. The highest α-diversity estimates appeared in nestling cuckoos and the lowest in nestling magpies. Moreover, despite the greatest differences in the microbiome composition of magpies and cuckoos of both ages, cuckoo nestlings harbored a mixture of the Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) present in adult cuckoos and nestling magpies. We identified the bacterial taxa responsible for such results. These results suggest important phylogenetic components determining gut microbiome of nestlings, and that diet might be responsible for similarities between gut microbiome of cuckoo and magpie nestlings that allow cuckoos to digest food provided by magpie adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coevolution of Hosts and their Microbiome)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Olfactory Communication via Microbiota: What Is Known in Birds?
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 31 July 2018
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Abstract
Animal bodies harbour a complex and diverse community of microorganisms and accumulating evidence has revealed that microbes can influence the hosts’ behaviour, for example by altering body odours. Microbial communities produce odorant molecules as metabolic by-products and thereby modulate the biochemical signalling profiles
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Animal bodies harbour a complex and diverse community of microorganisms and accumulating evidence has revealed that microbes can influence the hosts’ behaviour, for example by altering body odours. Microbial communities produce odorant molecules as metabolic by-products and thereby modulate the biochemical signalling profiles of their animal hosts. As the diversity and the relative abundance of microbial species are influenced by several factors including host-specific factors, environmental factors and social interactions, there are substantial individual variations in the composition of microbial communities. In turn, the variations in microbial communities would consequently affect social and communicative behaviour by influencing recognition cues of the hosts. Therefore, microbiota studies have a great potential to expand our understanding of recognition of conspecifics, group members and kin. In this review, we aim to summarize existing knowledge of the factors influencing the microbial communities and the effect of microbiota on olfactory cue production and social and communicative behaviour. We concentrate on avian taxa, yet we also include recent research performed on non-avian species when necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coevolution of Hosts and their Microbiome)
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