Data from: Diversity and stability of egg-bacterial assemblages: the role of paternal care in the glassfrog Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum
Hughey, Myra C.; Delia, Jesse; Belden, Lisa K. (2017), Data from: Diversity and stability of egg-bacterial assemblages: the role of paternal care in the glassfrog Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6t442
Embryos of oviparous organisms must cope with harsh environments and are especially susceptible to disease, considering that many immune mechanisms do not develop until later in life. Parents may transmit symbiotic microflora to eggs, which can contribute to embryo immune defense. Despite the importance of symbiotic microbes for immune function and survival of adult amphibians, vertical transfer of symbionts in amphibians has received less attention than in other taxa. Here, we test the role of male-only parental care in establishing and maintaining the diversity of egg-bacterial assemblages in a Neotropical glassfrog (Centrolenidae). Previous research suggests that father Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum may transfer bacterial symbionts to their eggs. We combined a male-removal experiment in situ with 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to determine whether egg attendance by father H. colymbiphyllum influences the bacterial community and survival of eggs. We found that eggs harbor a diverse and stable bacterial assemblage. Despite different host environments, we found that adult skin and eggs supported very similar bacterial assemblages—even after removing fathers. While we found overlap in the bacteria present on eggs and their fathers, our experiment reveals that extended male care does not contribute to the maintenance of egg-bacterial communities, so there may be other potential routes of transfer. This study contributes to our understanding of the diversity and maintenance of egg microbiomes, and motivates further research on how initial bacteria are acquired and the ontogenetic development of host–symbiont communities.
National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1136640; DEB DDIG-1501531