Bacterial Exposure Mediates Developmental Plasticity and Resistance to Lethal Vibrio lentus Infection in Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) Larvae.
ABSTRACT: Exposure to and colonization by bacteria during development have wide-ranging beneficial effects on animal biology but can also inhibit growth or cause disease. The immune system is the prime mediator of these microbial interactions and is itself shaped by them. Studies using diverse animal taxa have begun to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the acquisition and transmission of bacterial symbionts and their interactions with developing immune systems. Moreover, the contexts of these associations are often confounded by stark differences between "wild type" microbiota and the bacterial communities associated with animals raised in conventional or germ-free laboratories. In this study, we investigate the spatio-temporal kinetics of bacterial colonization and associated effects on growth and immune function in larvae of the purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) as a model for host-microbe interactions and immune system development. We also compare the host-associated microbiota of developing embryos and larvae raised in natural seawater or exposed to adult-associated bacteria in the laboratory. Bacteria associated with zygotes, embryos, and early larvae are detectable with 16S amplicon sequencing, but 16S-FISH indicates that the vast majority of larval bacterial load is acquired after feeding begins and is localized to the gut lumen. The bacterial communities of laboratory-cultured embryos are significantly less diverse than the natural microbiota but recapitulate its major components (Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes), suggesting that biologically relevant host-microbe interactions can be studied in the laboratory. We also demonstrate that bacterial exposure in early development induces changes in morphology and in the immune system. In the absence of bacteria, larvae grow larger at the 4-arm stage. Additionally, bacteria-exposed larvae are significantly more resistant to lethal infection with the larva-associated pathogen Vibrio lentus suggesting that early exposure to high levels of microbes, as would be expected in natural conditions, affects the immune state in later larvae. These results expand our knowledge of microbial influences on early sea urchin development and establish a model in which to study the interactions between the developing larval immune system and the acquisition of larval microbiota.
Project description:Adult mosquitoes inherit a bacterial community from larvae via transstadial transmission, an understudied process that may influence host-microbe interactions. Microbes contribute to important host life history traits, and analyzing transmitted microbial communities, the interrelationship between larval and adult-associated microbiota, and factors influencing host-microbe relationships provides targets for research. During its larval stage, the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) hosts the trichomycete gut fungus Zancudomyces culisetae, and fungal colonization coincides with environmental perturbations in the digestive tract microecosystem. Natural populations are differentially exposed to fungi, thereby potentially harboring distinct microbiota and experiencing disparate host-microbe interactions. This study's objectives were to characterize larval and initial adult microbiomes, investigate variation in diversity and distribution of microbial communities across individuals, and assess whether larval fungal colonization impacted microbiomes at these developmental stages. Laboratory-based fungal infestation assays, sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, and bacterial load quantification protocols revealed that initial adult microbiomes varied in diversity and distribution. Larval fungal colonization had downstream effects on initial adult microbiomes, significantly reducing microbial community variation, shifting relative abundances of certain bacterial families, and influencing transstadial transmission outcomes of particular genera. Further, abundances of several families consistently decreased in adults relative to levels in larvae, possibly reflecting impacts of host development on specific bacterial taxa. These findings demonstrated that a prolific gut fungus impacted mosquito-associated microbiota at two developmental stages in an insect connected with global human health.IMPORTANCE Mosquitoes are widespread vectors of numerous human pathogens and harbor microbiota known to affect host phenotypic traits. However, little research has directly investigated how bacterial communities associated with larvae and adults are connected. We characterized whole-body bacterial communities in mosquito larvae preceding pupation and in newly emerged adults, and investigated whether a significant biotic factor, fungal colonization of the larval hindgut, impacted these microbiomes. Results showed that fungal colonization reduced microbial community variation across individuals and differentially impacted the outcomes of transstadial transmission for certain bacterial genera, revealing downstream effects of the fungus on initial adult microbiomes. The importance of our research is in providing a thorough comparative analysis of whole-body microbiota harbored in larvae and adults of the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and in demonstrating the important role a widespread gut fungus played in a host-associated microbiome.
Project description:Little information is available on the link between host development (growth rate and ontogeny) and the composition of the microbiota in fish larvae. This study was carried out to examine potential correlations of microbiota composition with age and growth rate of Atlantic cod larvae. Small and large cod larvae of the same age, representing slow and fast growing individuals, were sampled 10 times during a period of 42 days post hatching (dph), and the composition of the larval microbiota was investigated using a PCR/DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) strategy. We found significant differences in the intestinal microbiota of small and large larvae of the same age for 4 of the 10 age stages studied. We further found that the variation in the composition of the larval microbiota was more strongly correlated to age than to growth rate for larvae up to 28 dph, whereas for the older larvae growth rate and age was equally correlated to the composition of the microbiota. These results indicate that larval development may structure the microbiota through a change in selection pressure due to host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions, and that the composition of the microbiota may influence larval development through improved energy gain.
Project description:Interactions between bacterial microbiota and mosquitoes play an important role in mosquitoes' capacity to transmit pathogens. However, microbiota assemblages within mosquitoes and the impact of microbiota in environments on mosquito development and survival remain unclear. This study examined microbiota assemblages and the effects of aquatic environment microbiota on the larval development of the Aedes albopictus mosquito, an important dengue virus vector. Life table studies have found that reducing bacterial load in natural aquatic habitats through water filtering and treatment with antibiotics significantly reduced the larva-to-adult emergence rate. This finding was consistent in two types of larval habitats examined-discarded tires and flowerpots, suggesting that bacteria play a crucial role in larval development. Pyrosequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene was used to determine the diversity of bacterial communities in larval habitats and the resulting numbers of mosquitoes under both laboratory and field conditions. The microbiota profiling identified common shared bacteria among samples from different years; further studies are needed to determine whether these bacteria represent a core microbiota. The highest microbiota diversity was found in aquatic habitats, followed by mosquito larvae, and the lowest in adult mosquitoes. Mosquito larvae ingested their bacterial microbiota and nutrients from aquatic habitats of high microbiota diversity. Taken together, the results support the observation that Ae. albopictus larvae are able to utilize diverse bacteria from aquatic habitats and that live bacteria from aquatic habitats play an important role in larval mosquito development and survival. These findings provide new insights into bacteria's role in mosquito larval ecology.
Project description:The sustainable utilization of black soldier fly (BSF) for recycling organic waste into nutrient-rich biomass, such as high-quality protein additive, is gaining momentum, and its microbiota is thought to play important roles in these processes. Several studies have characterized the BSF gut microbiota in different substrates and locations; nonetheless, in-depth knowledge on community stability, consistency of member associations, pathogenic associations, and microbe-microbe and host-microbe interactions remains largely elusive. In this study, we characterized the bacterial and fungal communities of BSF larval gut across four untreated substrates (brewers' spent grain, kitchen food waste, poultry manure, and rabbit manure) using 16S and ITS2 amplicon sequencing. Results demonstrated that substrate impacted larval weight gain from 30 to 100% gain differences among diets and induced an important microbial shift in the gut of BSF larvae: fungal communities were highly substrate dependent with <i>Pichia</i> being the only prevalent genus across 96% of the samples; bacterial communities also varied across diets; nonetheless, we observed six conserved bacterial members in 99.9% of our samples, namely, <i>Dysgonomonas</i>, <i>Morganella</i>, <i>Enterococcus</i>, <i>Pseudomonas</i>, <i>Actinomyces</i>, and <i>Providencia</i>. Among these, <i>Enterococcus</i> was highly correlated with other genera including <i>Morganella</i> and <i>Providencia</i>. Additionally, we showed that diets such as rabbit manure induced a dysbiosis with higher loads of the pathogenic bacteria <i>Campylobacter</i>. Together, this study provides the first comprehensive analysis of bacterial and fungal communities of BSF gut across untreated substrates and highlights conserved members, potential pathogens, and their interactions. This information will contribute to the establishment of safety measures for future processing of BSF larval meals and the creation of legislation to regulate their use in animal feeds.
Project description:Commensal gut bacteria in many species including flies are integral part of their host, and are known to influence its development and homeostasis within generation. Here we report an unexpected impact of host-microbe interactions, which mediates multi-generational, non-Mendelian inheritance of a stress-induced phenotype. We have previously shown that exposure of fly larvae to G418 antibiotic induces transgenerationally heritable phenotypes, including a delay in larval development, gene induction in the gut and morphological changes. We now show that G418 selectively depletes commensal Acetobacter species and that this depletion explains the heritable delay, but not the inheritance of the other phenotypes. Notably, the inheritance of the delay was mediated by a surprising trans-generational effect. Specifically, bacterial removal from F1 embryos did not induce significant delay in F1 larvae, but nonetheless led to a considerable delay in F2. This effect maintains a delay induced by bacterial-independent G418 toxicity to the host. In line with these findings, reintroduction of isolated Acetobacter species prevented the inheritance of the delay. We further show that this prevention is partly mediated by vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) produced by these bacteria; exogenous Riboflavin led to partial prevention and inhibition of Riboflavin synthesis compromised the ability of the bacteria to prevent the inheritance. These results identify host-microbe interactions as a hitherto unrecognized factor capable of mediating non-Mendelian inheritance of a stress-induced phenotype.
Project description:The purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) genome sequence contains a complex repertoire of genes encoding innate immune recognition proteins and homologs of important vertebrate immune regulatory factors. To characterize how this immune system is deployed within an experimentally tractable, intact animal, we investigate the immune capability of the larval stage. Sea urchin embryos and larvae are morphologically simple and transparent, providing an organism-wide model to view immune response at cellular resolution. Here we present evidence for immune function in five mesenchymal cell types based on morphology, behavior and gene expression. Two cell types are phagocytic; the others interact at sites of microbial detection or injury. We characterize immune-associated gene markers for three cell types, including a perforin-like molecule, a scavenger receptor, a complement-like thioester-containing protein and the echinoderm-specific immune response factor 185/333. We elicit larval immune responses by (1) bacterial injection into the blastocoel and (2) seawater exposure to the marine bacterium Vibrio diazotrophicus to perturb immune state in the gut. Exposure at the epithelium induces a strong response in which pigment cells (one type of immune cell) migrate from the ectoderm to interact with the gut epithelium. Bacteria that accumulate in the gut later invade the blastocoel, where they are cleared by phagocytic and granular immune cells. The complexity of this coordinated, dynamic inflammatory program within the simple larval morphology provides a system in which to characterize processes that direct both aspects of the echinoderm-specific immune response as well as those that are shared with other deuterostomes, including vertebrates.
Project description:Changes in resident microbiota may have wide-ranging effects on human health. We investigated whether early life microbial disruption alters neurodevelopment and behavior in larval zebrafish. Conventionally colonized, axenic, and axenic larvae colonized at 1?day post fertilization (dpf) were evaluated using a standard locomotor assay. At 10 dpf, axenic zebrafish exhibited hyperactivity compared to conventionalized and conventionally colonized controls. Impairment of host colonization using antibiotics also caused hyperactivity in conventionally colonized larvae. To determine whether there is a developmental requirement for microbial colonization, axenic embryos were serially colonized on 1, 3, 6, or 9 dpf and evaluated on 10 dpf. Normal activity levels were observed in axenic larvae colonized on 1-6 dpf, but not on 9 dpf. Colonization of axenic embryos at 1 dpf with individual bacterial species Aeromonas veronii or Vibrio cholerae was sufficient to block locomotor hyperactivity at 10 dpf. Exposure to heat-killed bacteria or microbe-associated molecular patterns pam3CSK4 or Poly(I:C) was not sufficient to block hyperactivity in axenic larvae. These data show that microbial colonization during early life is required for normal neurobehavioral development and support the concept that antibiotics and other environmental chemicals may exert neurobehavioral effects via disruption of host-associated microbial communities.
Project description:The health and environmental risks associated with antibiotic use in aquaculture have promoted bacterial probiotics as an alternative approach to control fish infections in vulnerable larval and juvenile stages. However, evidence-based identification of probiotics is often hindered by the complexity of bacteria-host interactions and host variability in microbiologically uncontrolled conditions. While these difficulties can be partially resolved using gnotobiotic models harboring no or reduced microbiota, most host-microbe interaction studies are carried out in animal models with little relevance for fish farming. Here we studied host-microbiota-pathogen interactions in a germ-free and gnotobiotic model of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), one of the most widely cultured salmonids. We demonstrated that germ-free larvae raised in sterile conditions displayed no significant difference in growth after 35 days compared to conventionally-raised larvae, but were extremely sensitive to infection by Flavobacterium columnare, a common freshwater fish pathogen causing major economic losses worldwide. Furthermore, re-conventionalization with 11 culturable species from the conventional trout microbiota conferred resistance to F. columnare infection. Using mono-re-conventionalized germ-free trout, we identified that this protection is determined by a commensal Flavobacterium strain displaying antibacterial activity against F. columnare. Finally, we demonstrated that use of gnotobiotic trout is a suitable approach for the identification of both endogenous and exogenous probiotic bacterial strains protecting teleostean hosts against F. columnare. This study therefore establishes an ecologically-relevant gnotobiotic model for the study of host-pathogen interactions and colonization resistance in farmed fish.
Project description:Carrion beetles in the genus <i>Nicrophorus</i> rear their offspring on decomposing carcasses where larvae are exposed to a diverse community of decomposer bacteria. Parents coat the carcass with antimicrobial secretions prior to egg hatch (defined as prehatch care) and also feed regurgitated food, and potentially bacteria, to larvae throughout development (defined as full care). Here, we partition the roles of prehatch and posthatch parental care in the transmission and persistence of culturable symbiotic bacteria to larvae. Using three treatment groups (full care, prehatch care only, and no care), we found that larvae receiving full care are predominantly colonized by bacteria resident in the maternal gut while larvae receiving no care are colonized with bacteria from the carcass. More importantly, larvae receiving only prehatch care were also predominantly colonized by maternal bacteria; this result indicates that parental treatment of the carcass, including application of bacteria to the carcass surface, is sufficient to ensure symbiont transfer even in the absence of direct larval feeding. Later in development, we found striking evidence that pupae undergo an aposymbiotic stage, after which they are recolonized at eclosion with bacteria similar to those found on the molted larval cuticle and on the wall of the pupal chamber. Our results clarify the importance of prehatch parental care for symbiont transmission in <i>Nicrophorus vespilloides</i> and suggest that these bacteria successfully outcompete decomposer bacteria during larval and pupal gut colonization.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> Here, we examine the origin and persistence of the culturable gut microbiota of larvae in the burying beetle <i>Nicrophorus vespilloides</i> This insect is particularly interesting for this study because larvae are reared on decomposing vertebrate carcasses, where they are exposed to high densities of carrion-decomposing microbes. Larvae also receive extensive parental care in the form of carcass preservation and direct larval feeding. We find that parents transmit their gut bacteria to larvae both directly, through regurgitation, and indirectly via their effects on the carcass. In addition, we find that larvae become aposymbiotic during pupation but are recolonized apparently from bacteria shed onto the insect cuticle before adult eclosion. Our results highlight the diverse interactions between insect behavior and development on microbiota composition. They further suggest that competitive interactions mediate the bacterial composition of <i>Nicrophorus</i> larvae together with or apart from the influence of beetle immunity, suggesting that the bacterial communities of these insects may be highly coevolved with those of their host species.
Project description:Several <i>Vibrio</i> spp. cause acute and severe mortality events in hatcheries where larvae of bivalve mollusks are reared, potentially leading to subsequent shortage of bivalve seed for the grow-out industry. In particular, strains of <i>Vibrio coralliilyticus</i> have been identified as a major cause of disease in Pacific, <i>Crassostrea gigas,</i> and eastern, <i>C. virginica,</i> oyster hatcheries in the United States of America. Probiotic bacteria are an inexpensive, practical, and natural method of disease control. Previous research shows that pretreatment of larval oysters with probiotic bacteria <i>Bacillus pumilus</i> RI06-95 (RI) and <i>Phaeobacter inhibens</i> S4 (S4) significantly decreases mortality caused by experimental challenge with the bacterial pathogen <i>V. coralliilyticus</i> RE22 (RE22). This study aims to characterize the immune response of 6-10-day-old eastern oyster larvae to experimental challenge with pathogen <i>V. coralliilyticus</i> RE22 and probionts RI and S4. Treatments included (a) pathogen and probiont exposure at a concentration of 5 × 10<sup>4</sup> CFU per mL (~2500 bacterial cells per larva) for a duration of 6 h, (b) probiont exposure at the same concentration for a duration of 24 h, and (c) probiont RI daily treatment of larvae in the hatchery for 4, 11, and 15 days. Differential gene expression analysis compared pathogen or probiotic-treated transcriptomes to unexposed controls. Probiotic and pathogen treatment led to upregulation of transcripts coding for several immune pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) involved in environmental sensing and detection of microbes in oyster larvae. Larval oyster responses to pathogen RE22 suggested suppression of expression of genes in immune signaling pathways (<i>myd88, tak1, nkap</i>), failure in upregulation of immune effector genes, high metabolic demand, and oxidative stress that potentially contributed to mortality. On the other hand, the transcriptomic response to probiotic bacteria RI and S4 suggested activation of immune signaling pathways and expression of immune effectors (e.g., <i>Cv-spi2</i>, <i>mucins</i> and <i>perforin</i>-<i>2</i>). These key features of the host immune response to probiotic bacteria were shared despite the length of probiotic exposure, probiotic species, and the type of environment in which exposures were conducted. This study suggests that pre-exposure of eastern oyster larvae to probiotics for 6-24 h prior to pathogenic challenge leads to a robust and effective immune response that may contribute to protecting larvae from subsequent challenge with <i>V. coralliilyticus</i> RE22. This research provides new insights into host-microbe interactions in larval oysters that could be applied in the management of vibriosis in bivalve hatcheries.