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Open AccessArticle

Tissue- and Population-Level Microbiome Analysis of the Wasp Spider Argiope bruennichi Identified a Novel Dominant Bacterial Symbiont

1
Zoological Institute and Museum, University of Greifswald, 17489 Greifswald, Germany
2
LOEWE-Center for Translational Biodiversity Genomics, Senckenberg Museum, 60325 Frankfurt, Germany
3
South African National Biodiversity Institute, National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
4
Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research, University of Bayreuth, 95448 Bayreuth, Germany
5
Institute of Microbiology, University of Greifswald, 174897 Greifswald, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8010008
Received: 26 November 2019 / Revised: 16 December 2019 / Accepted: 17 December 2019 / Published: 19 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Microorganisms in the Evolution of Animals and Plants)
Many ecological and evolutionary processes in animals depend upon microbial symbioses. In spiders, the role of the microbiome in these processes remains mostly unknown. We compared the microbiome between populations, individuals, and tissue types of a range-expanding spider, using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Our study is one of the first to go beyond targeting known endosymbionts in spiders and characterizes the total microbiome across different body compartments (leg, prosoma, hemolymph, book lungs, ovaries, silk glands, midgut, and fecal pellets). Overall, the microbiome differed significantly between populations and individuals, but not between tissue types. The microbiome of the wasp spider Argiope bruennichi features a novel dominant bacterial symbiont, which is abundant in every tissue type in spiders from geographically distinct populations and that is also present in offspring. The novel symbiont is affiliated with the Tenericutes, but has low sequence identity (<85%) to all previously named taxa, suggesting that the novel symbiont represents a new bacterial clade. Its presence in offspring implies that it is vertically transmitted. Our results shed light on the processes that shape microbiome differentiation in this species and raise several questions about the implications of the novel dominant bacterial symbiont on the biology and evolution of its host. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbiome; symbiosis; endosymbiont; transmission; range expansion; Araneae; spiders; Argiope bruennichi; invertebrate host; Tenericutes microbiome; symbiosis; endosymbiont; transmission; range expansion; Araneae; spiders; Argiope bruennichi; invertebrate host; Tenericutes
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Sheffer, M.M.; Uhl, G.; Prost, S.; Lueders, T.; Urich, T.; Bengtsson, M.M. Tissue- and Population-Level Microbiome Analysis of the Wasp Spider Argiope bruennichi Identified a Novel Dominant Bacterial Symbiont. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 8.

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