Fish Skin and Gut Microbiomes Show Contrasting Signatures of Host Species and Habitat.
ABSTRACT: Teleost fish represent an invaluable repertoire of host species to study the factors shaping animal-associated microbiomes. Several studies have shown that the phylogenetic structure of the fish gut microbiome is driven by species-specific (e.g., host ancestry, genotype, or diet) and habitat-specific (e.g., hydrochemical parameters and bacterioplankton composition) factors. However, our understanding of other host-associated microbial niches, such as the skin mucus microbiome, remains limited. The goal of our study was to explore simultaneously the phylogenetic structure of the fish skin mucus and gut microbiome and compare the effect of species- and habitat-specific drivers on the structure of microbial communities in both tissues. We sampled 114 wild fish from 6 populations of 3 ecologically and phylogenetically contrasting Amazonian teleost species. Water samples were collected at each site, and 10 physicochemical parameters were characterized. The skin mucus, gut, and water microbial communities were characterized using a metabarcoding approach targeting the V3-V4 regions of the 16S rRNA. Our results showed a significant distinction between the phylogenetic profile and diversity of the microbiome from each microbial niche. Skin mucus and bacterioplankton communities were significantly closer in composition than gut and free-living communities. Species-specific factors mostly modulated gut bacterial communities, while the skin mucus microbiome was predominantly associated with environmental physicochemistry and bacterioplankton community structure. These results suggest that the variable skin mucus community is a relevant target for the development of microbial biomarkers of environmental status, while the more conserved gut microbiome is better suited to study long-term host-microbe interactions over evolutionary time scales.IMPORTANCE Whether host-associated microbiomes are mostly shaped by species-specific or environmental factors is still unresolved. In particular, it is unknown to what extent microbial communities from two different host tissues from the same host respond to these factors. Our study is one of the first to focus on the microbiome of teleost fish to shed a light on this topic as we investigate how the phylogenetic structure of microbial communities from two distinct fish tissues are shaped by species- and habitat-specific factors. Our study showed that in contrast to the teleost gut microbiome, skin mucus communities are highly environment dependent. This result has various implications: (i) the skin mucus microbiome should be used, rather than the gut, to investigate bacterial biomarkers of ecosystem perturbance in the wild, and (ii) the gut microbiome is better suited for studies of the drivers of phylosymbiosis, or the coevolution of fish and their symbionts.
Project description:The microbiome has a crucial influence on host phenotype and is of broad interest to ecological and evolutionary research. Yet, the extent of variation that occurs in the microbiome within and between populations is unclear. We characterized the skin and gut microbiomes of seven populations of juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) inhabiting a diverse range of environments, including hatchery-reared and wild populations. We found shared skin operational taxonomic units (OTUs) across all populations and core gut microbiota for all wild fish, but the diversity and structure of both skin and gut microbial communities were distinct between populations. There was a marked difference between the gut microbiomes of wild and captive fish. Hatchery-reared fish had lower intestinal microbial diversity, lacked core microbiota found in wild fish, and showed altered community structure and function. Skin and gut microbiomes were also less varied within captive populations, reflecting more uniform artificial rearing conditions. The surrounding water influenced the microbiome of the gut and, especially, the skin, but could not explain the degree of variation observed between populations. For both gut and skin, we found that there was greater difference in microbiome structures between more genetically distinct fish populations, and that population genetic diversity was positively correlated with microbiome diversity. However, diet is likely to be the major factor contributing to the large differences in gut microbiota between wild and captive fish. Our results highlight the scope of interpopulation variation in the Atlantic salmon microbiome and offer insights into the deterministic factors contributing to microbiome diversity and structure.IMPORTANCE Variation in the microbiome has a fundamental influence on host health, ecology, and evolution, but the scope and basis of this variation are not fully understood. We identified considerable variation in skin and gut microbial communities between seven wild and captive populations of Atlantic salmon, reflecting divergent environmental conditions and fish genetic diversity. In particular, we found very pronounced differences in the intestinal microbiomes of wild and hatchery-reared fish, likely reflecting differences in diet. Our results offer an insight into how the microbiome potentially contributes to the generation of local adaptations in this species and how domestication alters intestinal microbial communities, highlighting future research directions in these areas.
Project description:Exposure to environmental stressors can compromise fish health and fitness. Little is known about how stress-induced microbiome disruption may contribute to these adverse health effects, including how cortisol influences fish microbial communities. We exposed juvenile Atlantic salmon to a mild confinement stressor for two weeks. We then measured cortisol in the plasma, skin-mucus, and feces, and characterized the skin and fecal microbiome. Fecal and skin cortisol concentrations increased in fish exposed to confinement stress, and were positively correlated with plasma cortisol. Elevated fecal cortisol was associated with pronounced changes in the diversity and structure of the fecal microbiome. In particular, we identified a marked decline in the lactic acid bacteria Carnobacterium sp. and an increase in the abundance of operational taxonomic units within the classes Clostridia and Gammaproteobacteria. In contrast, cortisol concentrations in skin-mucus were lower than in the feces, and were not related to any detectable changes in the skin microbiome. Our results demonstrate that stressor-induced cortisol production is associated with disruption of the gut microbiome, which may, in turn, contribute to the adverse effects of stress on fish health. They also highlight the value of using non-invasive fecal samples to monitor stress, including simultaneous determination of cortisol and stress-responsive bacteria.
Project description:The skin of the teleost is a flexible and scaled structure that protects the fish toward the external environment. The outermost surface of the skin is coated with mucus, which is believed to be colonized by a diverse bacterial community (commensal and/or opportunistic). Little is known about such communities and their role in fish welfare. In aquaculture, fish seem to be more susceptible to pathogens compared to wild fish. Indeed common fish farming practices may play important roles in promoting their vulnerability, possibly by causing changes to their microbiomes. In the present study, 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing was employed to analyze the composition of the farmed Salmo salar skin-mucus microbiome before and after netting and transfer. The composition of the bacterial community present in the rearing water was also investigated in order to evaluate its correlation with the community present on the fish skin. Our results reveal variability of the skin-mucus microbiome among the biological replicates before fish handling. On the contrary, after fish handling, the skin-mucus community exhibited structural similarity among the biological replicates and significant changes were observed in the bacterial composition compared to the fish analyzed prior to netting and transfer. Limited correlation was revealed between the skin-mucus microbiome and the bacterial community present in the rearing water. Finally, analysis of skin-mucus bacterial biomasses indicated low abundance for some samples, highlighting the need of caution when interpreting community data due to the possible contamination of water-residing bacteria.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The vertebrate clade diverged into Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays, and chimeras) and Osteichthyes fishes (bony fishes) approximately 420 mya, with each group accumulating vast anatomical and physiological differences, including skin properties. The skin of Chondrichthyes fishes is covered in dermal denticles, whereas Osteichthyes fishes are covered in scales and are mucous rich. The divergence time among these two fish groups is hypothesized to result in predictable variation among symbionts. Here, using shotgun metagenomics, we test if patterns of diversity in the skin surface microbiome across the two fish clades match predictions made by phylosymbiosis theory. We hypothesize (1) the skin microbiome will be host and clade-specific, (2) evolutionary difference in elasmobranch and teleost will correspond with a concomitant increase in host-microbiome dissimilarity, and (3) the skin structure of the two groups will affect the taxonomic and functional composition of the microbiomes.<h4>Results</h4>We show that the taxonomic and functional composition of the microbiomes is host-specific. Teleost fish had lower average microbiome within clade similarity compared to among clade comparison, but their composition is not different among clade in a null based model. Elasmobranch's average similarity within clade was not different than across clade and not different in a null based model of comparison. In the comparison of host distance with microbiome distance, we found that the taxonomic composition of the microbiome was related to host distance for the elasmobranchs, but not the teleost fishes. In comparison, the gene function composition was not related to the host-organism distance for elasmobranchs but was negatively correlated with host distance for teleost fishes.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our results show the patterns of phylosymbiosis are not consistent across both fish clades, with the elasmobranchs showing phylosymbiosis, while the teleost fish are not. The discrepancy may be linked to alternative processes underpinning microbiome assemblage, including possible historical host-microbiome evolution of the elasmobranchs and convergent evolution in the teleost which filter specific microbial groups. Our comparison of the microbiomes among fishes represents an investigation into the microbial relationships of the oldest divergence of extant vertebrate hosts and reveals that microbial relationships are not consistent across evolutionary timescales. Video abstract.
Project description:Fish gut microbial communities play key functions for their hosts, but their ontogenesis is poorly understood. Recent studies on the zebrafish suggest that gut symbionts are recruited naturally through horizontal transmission from environmental water. We used an alternative fish model, the discus (Symphysodon aequifasciata), to identify the main factors driving fish gut microbiota ontogenesis. The discus exhibits a unique parenting behavior: both discus parents vertically feed their fry with a cutaneous mucus secretion during three weeks post-hatching. We hypothesized that vertical microbial transmission via parental mucus feeding, along with horizontal transmission of environmental microbial symbionts, helps to shape the taxonomic structure of the discus fry gut microbiota. To assess this premise, we thoroughly documented the gut microbiota ontogenesis of a discus progeny during 100 days post-hatching. The V4 16S rRNA gene was sequenced to assess taxonomic structure of fry gut, parent mucus, and water samples. Our main results suggest that specific microbial symbionts both from the parents skin mucus and environmental water play important roles in shaping the structure of the fry gut microbiota.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The eco-evolutionary processes ruling post-disturbance microbial assembly remain poorly studied, particularly in host-microbiome systems. The community recovery depends not only on the type, duration, intensity, and gradient of disturbance, but also on the initial community structure, phylogenetic composition, legacy, and habitat (soil, water, host). In this study, yellow perch (Perca flavescens) juveniles were exposed over 90 days to constant and gradual sublethal doses of cadmium chloride. Afterward, the exposure of aquaria tank system to cadmium was ceased for 60 days. The skin, gut and water tank microbiomes in control and treatment groups, were characterized before, during and after the cadmium exposure using 16s rDNA libraries and high throughput sequencing technology (Illumina, Miseq). RESULTS:Our data exhibited long-term bioaccumulation of cadmium salts in the liver even after two months since ceasing the exposure. The gradient of cadmium disturbance had differential effects on the perch microbiota recovery, including increases in evenness, taxonomic composition shifts, as well as functional and phylogenetic divergence. The perch microbiome reached an alternative stable state in the skin and nearly complete recovery trajectories in the gut communities. The recovery of skin communities showed a significant proliferation of opportunistic fish pathogens (i.e., Flavobacterium). Our findings provide evidence that neutral processes were a much more significant contributor to microbial community turnover in control treatments than in those treated with cadmium, suggesting the role of selective processes in driving community recovery. CONCLUSIONS:The short-term metallic disturbance of fish development has important long-term implications for host health. The recovery of microbial communities after metallic exposure depends on the magnitude of exposure (constant, gradual), and the nature of the ecological niche (water, skin, and gut). The skin and gut microbiota of fish exposed to constant concentrations of cadmium (CC) were closer to the control negative than those exposed to the gradual concentrations (CV). Overall, our results show that the microbial assembly during the community recovery were both orchestrated by neutral and deterministic processes. Video Abtract.
Project description:Teleost fish represent the most diverse of the vertebrate groups and play important roles in food webs, as ecosystem engineers, and as vectors for microorganisms. However, the microbial ecology of fishes remains underexplored for most host taxa and for certain niches on the fish body. This is particularly true for the gills, the key sites of respiration and waste exchange in fishes. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of the gill microbiome. We focus on ecologically diverse taxa from coral reefs around Moorea, sampling the gills and intestines of adults and juveniles representing 15 families. The gill microbiome composition differed significantly from that of the gut for both adults and juveniles, with fish-associated niches having lower alpha diversity values and higher beta diversity values than those for seawater, sediment, and alga-associated microbiomes. Of ?45,000 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) detected across all samples, 11% and 13% were detected only in the gill and the intestine, respectively. OTUs most enriched in the gill included members of the gammaproteobacterial genus Shewanella and the family Endozoicimonaceae In adult fish, both gill and intestinal microbiomes varied significantly among host species grouped by diet category. Gill and intestinal microbiomes from the same individual were more similar to one another than to gill and intestinal microbiomes from different individuals. These results demonstrate that distinct body sites are jointly influenced by host-specific organizing factors operating at the level of the host individual. The results also identify taxonomic signatures unique to the gill and the intestine, confirming fish-associated niches as distinct reservoirs of marine microbial diversity.IMPORTANCE Fish breathe and excrete waste through their gills. The gills are also potential sites of pathogen invasion and colonization by other microbes. However, we know little about the microbial communities that live on the gill and the factors shaping their diversity. Focusing on ecologically distinct types of coral reef fish, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the fish gill microbiome. By comparison to microbiomes of the gut and the surrounding environment, we identify microbes unique to the gill niche. These microbes may be targets for further studies to determine the contribution of the microbiome to waste exchange or host immunity. We also show that despite exhibiting a unique taxonomic signature, the gill microbiome is influenced by factors that also influence the gut microbiome. These factors include the specific identity of the host individual. These results suggest basic principles describing how association with fishes structures the composition of microbial communities.
Project description:Microbial communities associated with the gut and the skin are strongly influenced by environmental factors, and can rapidly adapt to change. Historical processes may also affect the microbiome. In particular, variation in microbial colonisation in early life has the potential to induce lasting effects on microbial assemblages. However, little is known about the relative extent of microbiome plasticity or the importance of historical colonisation effects following environmental change, especially for nonmammalian species. To investigate this we performed a reciprocal translocation of Atlantic salmon between artificial and semi-natural conditions. Wild and hatchery-reared fry were transferred to three common garden experimental environments for 6 weeks: standard hatchery conditions, hatchery conditions with an enriched diet, and simulated wild conditions. We characterized the faecal and skin microbiome of individual fish before and after the environmental translocation, using a BACI (before-after-control-impact) design. We found evidence of extensive microbiome plasticity for both the gut and skin, with the greatest changes in alpha and beta diversity associated with the largest changes in environment and diet. Microbiome richness and diversity were entirely determined by environment, with no detectable effects of fish origin, and there was also a near-complete turnover in microbiome structure. However, we also identified, for the first time in fish, evidence of historical colonisation effects reflecting early-life experience, including ASVs characteristic of captive rearing. These results have important implications for host adaptation to local selective pressures, and highlight how conditions experienced during early life can have a long-term influence on the microbiome and, potentially, host health.
Project description:Fish skin and gut microbiomes contribute to host health and growth and are often significantly different in aquaculture-reared fish compared to wild fish. Determining how factors associated with aquaculture, including altered diet and abiotic conditions, affect the microbiome will assist with optimizing farming practices and non-invasively assessing fish health. Here, juvenile yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) housed at optimal (22 °C) and non-optimal (26 °C) water temperature were fed a fishmeal control diet or the same diet substituted with 30% soy-protein concentrate (SPC) in order to investigate impacts on host health and the microbial community composition of the skin mucosa, gut mucosa and digesta. Each of these sites was observed to have a distinct microbiome composition. The combination of SPC and housing at 26 °C significantly reduced weight gain in yellowtail kingfish and affected immune parameters. The overall microbial composition and relative abundance of specific operational taxonomic units (OTUs) was also significantly altered by inclusion of SPC at 26 °C, with a notable increase in an OTU identified as Photobacterium in the skin mucosa and digesta. Increased relative abundance of Photobacterium sp. was significantly correlated with reduced levels of digesta myeloperoxidase in yellowtail kingfish; a recognized innate immunity defense mechanism. The changes in the microbial communities of yellowtail kingfish fed a diet containing 30% SPC at 26 °C highlights the importance of considering the interactive effects of diet and environmental factors on microbiome health in farmed yellowtail kingfish.
Project description:The microbiome of freshwater fish has important implications for both commercial and recreational fishing because it can have significant impacts on host heath, spoilage rates, and susceptibility to disease. The aqueous environment serves as a possible avenue for continuous introduction of microbes to an animal host, but little is known about how the surrounding microbiota contribute to piscine microbiomes. To better understand the composition of the fish microbiome exposed to the natural environment, we profiled the microbial composition of the gut and the skin mucosal surface (SMS) of northern pike (Esox lucius) and the surrounding river water. We collected fish samples from eight sites along a single river in southwestern Quebec, Canada and analyzed the microbial composition via 16S rRNA sequencing. Our results reveal robust taxonomic differences between the SMS and the gut, indicating a divergence between the microbiomes. The gut community was characterized by a lower alpha diversity compared to the SMS and a large proportion of Cetobacterium, a genus previously linked to carnivorous species. On the other hand, the SMS was more similar to the water than the gut at the family level but divergent at lower taxonomic levels, with fewer than 30% of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) shared between the SMS and water. In total, our results suggest the establishment of distinct communities across the two fish sites, as well as a clear separation from the microbes in surrounding waters. These data indicate that despite continuous exposure to water, pike are able to establish and maintain unique microbial communities.