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PCB exposure is associated with reduction of endosymbionts in riparian spider microbiomes

August 10, 2022

Microbial communities, including endosymbionts, play diverse and critical roles in host biology and reproduction, but contaminant exposure may cause an imbalance in the microbiome composition with subsequent impacts on host health. Here, we examined whether there was a significant alteration of the microbiome community within two taxa of riparian spiders (Tetragnathidae and Araneidae) from a site with historical polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in southern Ontario, Canada. Riparian spiders specialize in the predation of adult aquatic insects and, as such, their contaminant levels closely track those of nearby aquatic ecosystems. DNA from whole spiders from sites with either low or high PCB contamination was extracted, and spider microbiota profiled by partial 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The most prevalent shift in microbial communities we observed was a large reduction in endosymbionts in spiders at the high PCB site. The abundance of endosymbionts at the high PCB site was 63 % and 98 % lower for tetragnathids and araneids, respectively, than at the low PCB site. Overall, this has potential implications for spider reproductive success and food webs, as riparian spiders are critical gatekeepers of energy and material fluxes at the land-water interface.

Publication Year 2022
Title PCB exposure is associated with reduction of endosymbionts in riparian spider microbiomes
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156726
Authors Brittany G Perrotta, Karen A. Kidd, David Walters
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science of the Total Environment
Index ID 70240246
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center; Fort Collins Science Center