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Gut microbiota associated with different sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) life stages

September 3, 2021

Sea lamprey (SL; Petromyzon marinus), one of the oldest living vertebrates, have a complex metamorphic life cycle. Following hatching, SL transition into a microphagous, sediment burrowing larval stage, and after 2–10+ years, the larvae undergo a dramatic metamorphosis, transforming into parasitic juveniles that feed on blood and bodily fluids of fishes; adult lamprey cease feeding, spawn, and die. Since gut microbiota are critical for the overall health of all animals, we examined the microbiota associated with SLs in each life history stage. We show that there were significant differences in the gut bacterial communities associated with the larval, parasitic juvenile, and adult life stages. The transition from larval to the parasitic juvenile stage was marked with a significant shift in bacterial community structure and reduction in alpha diversity. The most abundant SL-associated phyla were Proteobacteria, Fusobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes, with their relative abundances varying among the stages. Moreover, while larval SL were enriched with unclassified Fusobacteriaceae, unclassified Verrucomicrobiales and Cetobacterium, members of the genera with fastidious nutritional requirements, such as Streptococcus, Haemophilus, Cutibacterium, Veillonella, and Massilia, were three to four orders of magnitude greater in juveniles than in larvae. In contrast, adult SLs were enriched with Aeromonas, Iodobacter, Shewanella, and Flavobacterium. Collectively, our findings show that bacterial communities in the SL gut are dramatically different among its life stages. Understanding how these communities change over time within and among SL life stages may shed more light on the role that these gut microbes play in host growth and fitness.

Publication Year 2021
Title Gut microbiota associated with different sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) life stages
DOI 10.3389/fmicb.2021.706683
Authors Prince P Mathai, Muruleedhara Byappanahalli, Nicholas S. Johnson, Michael J. Sadowsky
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Frontiers in Microbiology
Index ID 70223746
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center