Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/67646

Dining local: the microbial diet of a snail that grazes microbial communities is geographically structured

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Title:Dining local: the microbial diet of a snail that grazes microbial communities is geographically structured
Authors:O’Rorke, Richard
Cobian, Gerald
Holland, Brenden
Price, Melissa
Costello, Vincent
show 1 moreAmend, Anthony
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Date Issued:2015
Citation:O’Rorke, R., Cobian, G. M., Holland, B. S., Price, M. R., Costello, V., & Amend, A. S. (2015). Dining local: The microbial diet of a snail that grazes microbial communities is geographically structured. Environmental Microbiology, 17, 1753–1764. https://doi. org/10.1111/1462-2920.12630
Abstract:Achatinella mustelina is a critically endangered tree snail that subsists entirely by grazing microbes from leaf surfaces of native trees. Little is known about the fundamental aspects of these microbe assemblages: not taxonomic composition, how this varies with host plant or location, nor whether snails selectively consume microbes. To address these questions, we collected 102 snail faecal samples as a proxy for diet, and 102 matched-leaf samples from four locations. We used Illumina amplicon sequencing to determine bacterial and fungal community composition. Microbial community structure was significantly distinct between snail faeces and leaf samples, but the same microbes occurred in both. We conclude that snails are not ‘picky’ eaters at the microbial level, but graze the surface of whatever plant they are on. In a second experiment, the gut was dissected from nonendangered native tree snails in the same family as Achatinella to confirm that faecal samples reflect gut contents. Over 60% of fungal reads were shared between faeces, gut and leaf samples. Overall, location, sample type (faeces or leaf) and host plant identity all significantly explained the community composition and variation among samples. Understanding the microbial ecology of microbes grazed by tree snails enables effective management when conservation requires captive breeding or field relocation.
Pages/Duration:12
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/67646
DOI:10.1111/1462-2920.12630
Rights:CC0 1.0 Universal
http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
Journal:Environmental Microbiology
Volume:17
Issue/Number:5
Appears in Collections: Hawaii Wildlife Ecology Lab


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