Microbiome Structure of a Wild Drosophila Community along Tropical Elevational Gradients and Comparison to Laboratory Lines

Brown, Joel J., Jandová, Anna, Jeffs, Christopher T., Higgie, Megan, Nováková, Eva, Lewis, Owen T., and Hrček, Jan (2023) Microbiome Structure of a Wild Drosophila Community along Tropical Elevational Gradients and Comparison to Laboratory Lines. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 89 (5).

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Variation along environmental gradients in host-associated microbial communities is not well understood compared to free-living microbial communities. Because elevational gradients may serve as natural proxies for climate change, understanding patterns along these gradients can inform our understanding of the threats hosts and their symbiotic microbes face in a warming world. In this study, we analyzed bacterial microbiomes from pupae and adults of four Drosophila species native to Australian tropical rainforests. We sampled wild individuals at high and low elevations along two mountain gradients to determine natural diversity patterns. Further, we sampled laboratory-reared individuals from isofemale lines established from the same localities to see if any natural patterns are retained in the lab. In both environments, we controlled for diet to help elucidate other deterministic patterns of microbiome composition. We found small but significant differences in Drosophila bacterial community composition across elevation, with some notable taxonomic differences between different Drosophila species and sites. Further, we found that field-collected fly pupae had significantly richer microbiomes than laboratory-reared pupae. We also found similar microbiome composition in both types of provided diet, suggesting that the significant differences found among Drosophila microbiomes are the products of surrounding environments with different bacterial species pools, possibly bound to elevational differences in temperature. Our results suggest that comparative studies between lab and field specimens help reveal the true variability in microbiome communities that can exist within a single species.

Item ID: 82771
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1098-5336
Copyright Information: © 2023 Brown et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Date Deposited: 15 May 2024 02:43
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310410 Phylogeny and comparative analysis @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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