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Microbial composition of spiny ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Polyrhachis ) across their geographic range

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ABSTRACT

Background: Symbiotic relationships between insects and bacteria are found across almost all insect orders, including Hymenoptera. However there are still many remaining questions about these associations including what factors drive host-associated bacterial composition. To better understand the evolutionary significance of this association in nature, further studies addressing a diversity of hosts across locations and evolutionary history are necessary. Ants of the genus Polyrhachis (spiny ants) are distributed across the Old World and exhibit generalist diets and habits. Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics tools, this study explores the microbial community of >80 species of Polyrhachis distributed across the Old World and compares the microbiota of samples and related hosts across different biogeographic locations and in the context of their phylogenetic history.

Results: The predominant bacteria across samples were Enterobacteriaceae (Blochmannia - with likely many new strains), followed by Wolbachia (with multiple strains), Lactobacillus, Thiotrichaceae, Acinetobacter, Nocardia, Sodalis, and others. We recovered some exclusive strains of Enterobacteriaceae as specific to some subgenera of Polyrhachis, corroborating the idea of coevolution between host and bacteria for this bacterial group. Our correlation results (partial mantel and mantel tests) found that host phylogeny can influence the overall bacterial community, but that geographic location had no effect.

Conclusions: Our work is revealing important aspects of the biology of hosts in structuring the diversity and abundance of these host-associated bacterial communities including the role of host phylogeny and shared evolutionary history.

Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-017-0945-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The colors in the heatmap indicate variation in the relative abundance of different bacteria in Polyrhachis, ranging from 0% (light yellow) to 100% (red). Dendrograms were generated from Bray–Curtis distance matrices. For easy viewing, we choose to show only OTUs with more than 400 reads Note there are strains of Enterobacteriaceae restricted to specific subgenera of Polyrhachis, such as Candidatus Blochmannia-New.ReferenceOTU70 with Myrma from the Afrotropics, Enterobacteriaceae-New.ReferenceOTU13 with Polyrhachis, and Enterobacteriaceae-New.CleanUp.ReferenceOTU0 with Myrmhopla. In this analysis the presence of multiple Wolbachia infections in some Polyrhachis samples is also evident
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Fig6: The colors in the heatmap indicate variation in the relative abundance of different bacteria in Polyrhachis, ranging from 0% (light yellow) to 100% (red). Dendrograms were generated from Bray–Curtis distance matrices. For easy viewing, we choose to show only OTUs with more than 400 reads Note there are strains of Enterobacteriaceae restricted to specific subgenera of Polyrhachis, such as Candidatus Blochmannia-New.ReferenceOTU70 with Myrma from the Afrotropics, Enterobacteriaceae-New.ReferenceOTU13 with Polyrhachis, and Enterobacteriaceae-New.CleanUp.ReferenceOTU0 with Myrmhopla. In this analysis the presence of multiple Wolbachia infections in some Polyrhachis samples is also evident

Mentions: Another interesting observation is there are four different highly abundant Wolbachia strains found across our samples. We observed an infection rate of 49.24% from across our 132 samples. There are even multiple individuals (n = 25, 38.46%) with the presence of a double infection of Wolbachia. Also, the presence of Lactobacillus was unexpected and was identified from samples from across the distribution of the genus (Fig. 6).Fig. 6


Microbial composition of spiny ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Polyrhachis ) across their geographic range
The colors in the heatmap indicate variation in the relative abundance of different bacteria in Polyrhachis, ranging from 0% (light yellow) to 100% (red). Dendrograms were generated from Bray–Curtis distance matrices. For easy viewing, we choose to show only OTUs with more than 400 reads Note there are strains of Enterobacteriaceae restricted to specific subgenera of Polyrhachis, such as Candidatus Blochmannia-New.ReferenceOTU70 with Myrma from the Afrotropics, Enterobacteriaceae-New.ReferenceOTU13 with Polyrhachis, and Enterobacteriaceae-New.CleanUp.ReferenceOTU0 with Myrmhopla. In this analysis the presence of multiple Wolbachia infections in some Polyrhachis samples is also evident
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5382451&req=5

Fig6: The colors in the heatmap indicate variation in the relative abundance of different bacteria in Polyrhachis, ranging from 0% (light yellow) to 100% (red). Dendrograms were generated from Bray–Curtis distance matrices. For easy viewing, we choose to show only OTUs with more than 400 reads Note there are strains of Enterobacteriaceae restricted to specific subgenera of Polyrhachis, such as Candidatus Blochmannia-New.ReferenceOTU70 with Myrma from the Afrotropics, Enterobacteriaceae-New.ReferenceOTU13 with Polyrhachis, and Enterobacteriaceae-New.CleanUp.ReferenceOTU0 with Myrmhopla. In this analysis the presence of multiple Wolbachia infections in some Polyrhachis samples is also evident
Mentions: Another interesting observation is there are four different highly abundant Wolbachia strains found across our samples. We observed an infection rate of 49.24% from across our 132 samples. There are even multiple individuals (n = 25, 38.46%) with the presence of a double infection of Wolbachia. Also, the presence of Lactobacillus was unexpected and was identified from samples from across the distribution of the genus (Fig. 6).Fig. 6

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Symbiotic relationships between insects and bacteria are found across almost all insect orders, including Hymenoptera. However there are still many remaining questions about these associations including what factors drive host-associated bacterial composition. To better understand the evolutionary significance of this association in nature, further studies addressing a diversity of hosts across locations and evolutionary history are necessary. Ants of the genus Polyrhachis (spiny ants) are distributed across the Old World and exhibit generalist diets and habits. Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics tools, this study explores the microbial community of >80 species of Polyrhachis distributed across the Old World and compares the microbiota of samples and related hosts across different biogeographic locations and in the context of their phylogenetic history.

Results: The predominant bacteria across samples were Enterobacteriaceae (Blochmannia - with likely many new strains), followed by Wolbachia (with multiple strains), Lactobacillus, Thiotrichaceae, Acinetobacter, Nocardia, Sodalis, and others. We recovered some exclusive strains of Enterobacteriaceae as specific to some subgenera of Polyrhachis, corroborating the idea of coevolution between host and bacteria for this bacterial group. Our correlation results (partial mantel and mantel tests) found that host phylogeny can influence the overall bacterial community, but that geographic location had no effect.

Conclusions: Our work is revealing important aspects of the biology of hosts in structuring the diversity and abundance of these host-associated bacterial communities including the role of host phylogeny and shared evolutionary history.

Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-017-0945-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus