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Cyprinodon pupfish gut microbiomes

Cite this dataset

Heras, Joseph; Martin, Christopher (2022). Cyprinodon pupfish gut microbiomes [Dataset]. Dryad.


Adaptive radiations offer an excellent opportunity to understand the eco-evolutionary dynamics of gut microbiota and host niche specialization. In a laboratory common garden, we compared the gut microbiota of two novel derived trophic specialist pupfishes, a scale-eater and a molluscivore, to closely related and distant outgroup generalist populations, spanning both rapid trophic evolution within 10 kya and stable generalist diets persisting over 11 Mya. We predicted an adaptive and highly divergent microbiome composition in the trophic specialists reflecting their rapid rates of craniofacial and behavioral diversification. We sequenced 16S rRNA amplicons of gut microbiomes from lab-reared adult pupfishes raised under identical conditions and fed the same high-protein diet. In contrast to our predictions, gut microbiota largely reflected phylogenetic distance among species, rather than generalist or specialist life history, in support of phylosymbiosis. However, we did find significant enrichment of Burkholderiaceae bacteria in replicated lab-reared scale-eater populations. These bacteria sometimes digest collagen, the major component of fish scales, supporting an adaptive shift. We also found some enrichment of Rhodobacteraceae and Planctomycetia in lab-reared molluscivore populations, but these bacteria target cellulose. Overall phylogenetic conservation of microbiome composition contrasts with predictions of adaptive radiation theory and observations of rapid diversification in all other trophic traits in these hosts, including craniofacial morphology, foraging behavior, aggression, and gene expression, suggesting that the functional role of these minor shifts in microbiota will be important for understanding the role of the microbiome in trophic diversification.


National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, Award: 1749764