The gut microbial community of Midas cichlid fish in repeatedly evolved limnetic-benthic species pairs

Paolo Franchini, Carmelo Fruciano, Tancred Frickey, Julia C. Jones*, Axel Meyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Gut bacterial communities are now known to influence a range of fitness related aspects of organisms. But how different the microbial community is in closely related species, and if these differences can be interpreted as adaptive is still unclear. In this study we compared microbial communities in two sets of closely related sympatric crater lake cichlid fish species pairs that show similar adaptations along the limnetic-benthic axis. The gut microbial community composition differs in the species pair inhabiting the older of two crater lakes. One major difference, relative to other fish, is that in these cichlids that live in hypersaline crater lakes, the microbial community is largely made up of Oceanospirillales (52.28%) which are halotolerant or halophilic bacteria. This analysis opens up further avenues to identify candidate symbiotic or co-evolved bacteria playing a role in adaptation to similar diets and life-styles or even have a role in speciation. Future functional and phylosymbiotic analyses might help to address these issues.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere95027
Number of pages7
JournalPLoS One
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2014

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