Interested in receiving weekly updates on Myrmecol. News & Myrmecol. News Blog? Follow the link & subscribe: https://myrmecologicalnews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_jnews&act=subone&listid=1&itemid=78&Itemid=107

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25849/myrmecol.news_033:019

Open Access: CC BY 4.0

Author:

Mendoza-Guido, B., Rodríguez-Hernández, N., Ivens, A.B.F., von Beeren, C., Murillo-Cruz, C., Zuniga-Chaves, I., Łukasik, P., Sanchez, E., Kronauer, D.J.C. & Pinto-Tomás, A.A.



Year: 2023

Title:

Low diversity and host specificity in the gut microbiome community of Eciton army ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dorylinae) in a Costa Rican rainforest



Journal: Myrmecological News

Volume: 33

Pages: 19-34

Type of contribution: Original Article

Supplementary material: Yes

Abstract:

Neotropical army ants of the genus Eciton are top arthropod predators in tropical rainforests. Microbial symbionts, including Unclassified Firmicutes (UF) and Unclassified Entomoplasmatales (UE), are associated with this genus and likely play a significant role in the biology of these ants. While previous work focused on associations of army ants and gut microbes across large geographic scales, here we report a community survey of the gut microbes colonizing the six sympatric Eciton army ant species in a single Costa Rican location. Furthermore, we characterized the gut microbiota associated with different army ant castes in the swarm-raiding species Eciton burchellii. We employed a combination of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) amplicon sequencing as well as fluorescence and electron microscopy to identify gut microbes and to verify their presence in ant guts. We also measured the diversity and interaction specificity of the ant-gut microbe interaction network. The two most dominant operational taxonomic unit (OTU) phylotypes in all species were related to UF and UE previously found in army ants, followed by OTUs assigned to the genus Weissella. Furthermore, the worker castes of E. burchellii shared similar gut microbiota, also dominated by UF and UE phylotypes. Overall, we found a low diversity of gut microbes and a low interaction specificity between army ants and microbes at the community level, mainly because most microbe strains were detected in various Eciton species. The fluorescence in-situ hybridization analyses documented the presence of the two dominant phylotypes within ant guts, and electron microscopy located bacterial biofilms in the hindgut near the microvilli. Their morphology suggests that these bacteria probably belong to the dominant phylotypes UF and UE. Taken together, our results confirm that the Eciton gut microbiome is consistently dominated by a few species of specialized bacteria that may improve nutrient uptake efficiency of host ants. Further research should employ multi-omics and culture-dependent strategies to fully understand the role of these potential symbionts in ant ecophysiology.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2023 The Author(s).



Key words: Symbiosis, microbial diversity, host specificity, Costa Rica, Firmicutes, Entomoplasmatales.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500

Check out the accompanying blog contribution: https://blog.myrmecologicalnews.org/2023/01/18/a-glimpse-into-the-gut-microbiome-of-costa-rican-army-ants/


Interested in receiving weekly updates on Myrmecol. News & Myrmecol. News Blog? Follow the link & subscribe: https://myrmecologicalnews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_jnews&act=subone&listid=1&itemid=78&Itemid=107

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25849/myrmecol.news_033:019

Open Access: CC BY 4.0

Author:

Mendoza-Guido, B., Rodríguez-Hernández, N., Ivens, A.B.F., von Beeren, C., Murillo-Cruz, C., Zuniga-Chaves, I., Łukasik, P., Sanchez, E., Kronauer, D.J.C. & Pinto-Tomás, A.A.



Year: 2023

Title:

Low diversity and host specificity in the gut microbiome community of Eciton army ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dorylinae) in a Costa Rican rainforest



Journal: Myrmecological News

Volume: 33

Pages: 19-34

Type of contribution: Original Article

Supplementary material: Yes

Abstract:

Neotropical army ants of the genus Eciton are top arthropod predators in tropical rainforests. Microbial symbionts, including Unclassified Firmicutes (UF) and Unclassified Entomoplasmatales (UE), are associated with this genus and likely play a significant role in the biology of these ants. While previous work focused on associations of army ants and gut microbes across large geographic scales, here we report a community survey of the gut microbes colonizing the six sympatric Eciton army ant species in a single Costa Rican location. Furthermore, we characterized the gut microbiota associated with different army ant castes in the swarm-raiding species Eciton burchellii. We employed a combination of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) amplicon sequencing as well as fluorescence and electron microscopy to identify gut microbes and to verify their presence in ant guts. We also measured the diversity and interaction specificity of the ant-gut microbe interaction network. The two most dominant operational taxonomic unit (OTU) phylotypes in all species were related to UF and UE previously found in army ants, followed by OTUs assigned to the genus Weissella. Furthermore, the worker castes of E. burchellii shared similar gut microbiota, also dominated by UF and UE phylotypes. Overall, we found a low diversity of gut microbes and a low interaction specificity between army ants and microbes at the community level, mainly because most microbe strains were detected in various Eciton species. The fluorescence in-situ hybridization analyses documented the presence of the two dominant phylotypes within ant guts, and electron microscopy located bacterial biofilms in the hindgut near the microvilli. Their morphology suggests that these bacteria probably belong to the dominant phylotypes UF and UE. Taken together, our results confirm that the Eciton gut microbiome is consistently dominated by a few species of specialized bacteria that may improve nutrient uptake efficiency of host ants. Further research should employ multi-omics and culture-dependent strategies to fully understand the role of these potential symbionts in ant ecophysiology.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2023 The Author(s).



Key words: Symbiosis, microbial diversity, host specificity, Costa Rica, Firmicutes, Entomoplasmatales.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500

Check out the accompanying blog contribution: https://blog.myrmecologicalnews.org/2023/01/18/a-glimpse-into-the-gut-microbiome-of-costa-rican-army-ants/


Interested in receiving weekly updates on Myrmecol. News & Myrmecol. News Blog? Follow the link & subscribe: https://myrmecologicalnews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_jnews&act=subone&listid=1&itemid=78&Itemid=107

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25849/myrmecol.news_033:019

Open Access: CC BY 4.0

Author:

Mendoza-Guido, B., Rodríguez-Hernández, N., Ivens, A.B.F., von Beeren, C., Murillo-Cruz, C., Zuniga-Chaves, I., Łukasik, P., Sanchez, E., Kronauer, D.J.C. & Pinto-Tomás, A.A.



Year: 2023

Title:

Low diversity and host specificity in the gut microbiome community of Eciton army ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dorylinae) in a Costa Rican rainforest



Journal: Myrmecological News

Volume: 33

Pages: 19-34

Type of contribution: Original Article

Supplementary material: Yes

Abstract:

Neotropical army ants of the genus Eciton are top arthropod predators in tropical rainforests. Microbial symbionts, including Unclassified Firmicutes (UF) and Unclassified Entomoplasmatales (UE), are associated with this genus and likely play a significant role in the biology of these ants. While previous work focused on associations of army ants and gut microbes across large geographic scales, here we report a community survey of the gut microbes colonizing the six sympatric Eciton army ant species in a single Costa Rican location. Furthermore, we characterized the gut microbiota associated with different army ant castes in the swarm-raiding species Eciton burchellii. We employed a combination of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) amplicon sequencing as well as fluorescence and electron microscopy to identify gut microbes and to verify their presence in ant guts. We also measured the diversity and interaction specificity of the ant-gut microbe interaction network. The two most dominant operational taxonomic unit (OTU) phylotypes in all species were related to UF and UE previously found in army ants, followed by OTUs assigned to the genus Weissella. Furthermore, the worker castes of E. burchellii shared similar gut microbiota, also dominated by UF and UE phylotypes. Overall, we found a low diversity of gut microbes and a low interaction specificity between army ants and microbes at the community level, mainly because most microbe strains were detected in various Eciton species. The fluorescence in-situ hybridization analyses documented the presence of the two dominant phylotypes within ant guts, and electron microscopy located bacterial biofilms in the hindgut near the microvilli. Their morphology suggests that these bacteria probably belong to the dominant phylotypes UF and UE. Taken together, our results confirm that the Eciton gut microbiome is consistently dominated by a few species of specialized bacteria that may improve nutrient uptake efficiency of host ants. Further research should employ multi-omics and culture-dependent strategies to fully understand the role of these potential symbionts in ant ecophysiology.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2023 The Author(s).



Key words: Symbiosis, microbial diversity, host specificity, Costa Rica, Firmicutes, Entomoplasmatales.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500

Check out the accompanying blog contribution: https://blog.myrmecologicalnews.org/2023/01/18/a-glimpse-into-the-gut-microbiome-of-costa-rican-army-ants/