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Special Issue: Insects, Nematodes, and Their Symbiotic Bacteria
Open AccessArticle

The Microbiome of Neotropical Water Striders and Its Potential Role in Codiversification

1
Centro de Biodiversidad y Descubrimiento de Drogas, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT-AIP), P.O. Box 0843-01103 Panamá 5, Panama
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Department of Biotechnology, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur 522 510, Andhra Pradesh, India
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Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, P.O. Box 0843-03092 Amador, Naos, Panama
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Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA 02125, USA
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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
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Coiba Scientific Station (COIBA-AIP), City of Knowledge, P.O. Box 0843-01853 Balboa, Panama
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(9), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090578
Received: 3 August 2020 / Revised: 25 August 2020 / Accepted: 26 August 2020 / Published: 31 August 2020
Insects host a highly diverse bacterial community. Although we have a good understanding of the role that this microbiome plays in insects, the composition and diversity of microbiomes associated with Neotropical freshwater insects is virtually unknown. Here, we describe, for the first time, the microbiome associated with six species of Neotropical water striders in Panama. We also performed phylogenetic analyses to explore potential codiversification or coevolution between water strider species and their associated microbiome. We found a diverse microbiome associated with the six species of water striders, with the dominant bacterial taxa belonging to the phyla Proteobacteria and Tenericutes. Although some bacterial lineages were shared across species, some lineages were also uniquely associated with different water strider species. Our results suggest that both environmental variation and host phylogenetic identity are important drivers of the microbiome associated with water striders. Understanding the evolution of the host-microbiome interaction is crucial to our understanding of Neotropical freshwater ecosystems.
Insects host a highly diverse microbiome, which plays a crucial role in insect life. However, the composition and diversity of microbiomes associated with Neotropical freshwater insects is virtually unknown. In addition, the extent to which diversification of this microbiome is associated with host phylogenetic divergence remains to be determined. Here, we present the first comprehensive analysis of bacterial communities associated with six closely related species of Neotropical water striders in Panama. We used comparative phylogenetic analyses to assess associations between dominant bacterial linages and phylogenetic divergence among species of water striders. We found a total of 806 16S rRNA amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), with dominant bacterial taxa belonging to the phyla Proteobacteria (76.87%) and Tenericutes (19.51%). Members of the α- (e.g., Wolbachia) and γ- (e.g., Acinetobacter, Serratia) Proteobacteria, and Mollicutes (e.g., Spiroplasma) were predominantly shared across species, suggesting the presence of a core microbiome in water striders. However, some bacterial lineages (e.g., Fructobacillus, Fluviicola and Chryseobacterium) were uniquely associated with different water strider species, likely representing a distinctive feature of each species’ microbiome. These findings indicate that both host identity and environmental context are important drivers of microbiome diversity in water striders. In addition, they suggest that diversification of the microbiome is associated with diversification in water striders. Although more research is needed to establish the evolutionary consequences of host-microbiome interaction in water striders, our findings support recent work highlighting the role of bacterial community host-microbiome codiversification. View Full-Text
Keywords: amplicon sequence variants (ASVs); bacterial community; microbiome; Neotropical; codiversification; water striders; Wolbachia amplicon sequence variants (ASVs); bacterial community; microbiome; Neotropical; codiversification; water striders; Wolbachia
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Castillo, A.M.; Saltonstall, K.; Arias, C.F.; Chavarria, K.A.; Ramírez-Camejo, L.A.; Mejía, L.C.; De León, L.F. The Microbiome of Neotropical Water Striders and Its Potential Role in Codiversification. Insects 2020, 11, 578.

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