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Intra-host symbiont diversity in eastern Pacific cold seep tubeworms identified by the 16S-V6 region, but undetected by the 16S-V4 region

Montoya, Jose M.; Breusing, Corinna; Franke, Maximilian; Young, Curtis Robert. 2020 Intra-host symbiont diversity in eastern Pacific cold seep tubeworms identified by the 16S-V6 region, but undetected by the 16S-V4 region. PLOS ONE, 15 (1). e0227053. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227053

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Abstract/Summary

Vestimentiferan tubeworms are key taxa in deep-sea chemosynthetic habitats worldwide. As adults they obtain their nutrition through their sulfide-oxidizing bacterial endosymbionts, which are acquired from the environment. Although horizontal transmission should favor infections by various symbiotic microbes, the current paradigm holds that every tubeworm harbors only one endosymbiotic 16S rRNA phylotype. Although previous studies based on traditional Sanger sequencing have questioned these findings, population level high-throughput analyses of the symbiont 16S diversity are still missing. To get further insights into the symbiont genetic variation and uncover hitherto hidden diversity we applied state-of-the-art 16S-V4 amplicon sequencing to populations of the co-occurring tubeworm species Lamellibrachia barhami and Escarpia spicata that were collected during E/V Nautilus and R/V Western Flyer cruises to cold seeps in the eastern Pacific Ocean. In agreement with earlier work our sequence data indicated that L. barhami and E. spicata share one monomorphic symbiont phylotype. However, complementary CARD-FISH analyses targeting the 16S-V6 region implied the existence of an additional phylotype in L. barhami. Our results suggest that the V4 region might not be sufficiently variable to investigate diversity in the intra-host symbiont population at least in the analyzed sample set. This is an important finding given that this region has become the standard molecular marker for high-throughput microbiome analyses. Further metagenomic research will be necessary to solve these issues and to uncover symbiont diversity that is hidden below the 16S rRNA level.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227053
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date made live: 10 Feb 2020 06:52 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/526770

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