Sediment microbial assemblage structure is modified by marine polychaete gut passage

Dale, H, Solan, M, Lam, P and Cunliffe, M 2019 Sediment microbial assemblage structure is modified by marine polychaete gut passage. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 95 (5).

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Invertebrate activities in sediments, predominantly the redistribution of particles and porewater, are well-known to regulate the structure of associated microbial assemblages; however, relatively little attention has been given to the effects of sediment ingestion, gut passage and excretion by deposit-feeding invertebrates. Here, we use high-throughput sequencing and quantitative PCR to examine how passage through the gut of the marine polychaete Hediste diversicolor affects the structure of bacterial and archaeal assemblages and the abundance of nitrogen cycling taxa. We show that the digestive tract of H. diversicolor contains unique transitory microbial assemblages that, during gut passage, become more like the surrounding sediment assemblages. Enrichment of similar microbial taxa in both the hindgut and the burrow wall suggest that these transitory gut assemblages may influence the composition of the local sediment community. The hindgut of H. diversicolor also forms a reservoir for unique ammonia-oxidising archaeal taxa. Furthermore, distinct microbial assemblages on external polychaete surfaces suggest that deposit-feeding invertebrates act as vectors that transport microbes between sediment patches. Collectively, these findings suggest that the passage of sediment and associated microbial assemblages through the gut of deposit feeding invertebrates is likely to play a significant role in regulating sediment microbial assemblages and biogeochemical functioning.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: invertebrate–microbe interactions; ecosystem functioning; functional traits; nitrogen cycling; microbiome
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Marine Microbiome
Depositing User: Emily Smart
Date made live: 23 Jul 2021 10:30
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 17:07

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