Variation between the oral and faecal microbiota in a free-living passerine bird, the great tit (Parus major)

Abstract : The gastrointestinal tract of vertebrates is inhabited by diverse bacterial communities that induce marked effects on the host physiology and health status. The composition of the gas-trointestinal microbiota is characterized by pronounced taxonomic and functional variability among different regions of the vertebrate gastrointestinal tract. Despite the relatively solid knowledge on the among-region variations of the gastrointestinal microbiota in model mam-malian species, there are only a few studies concerning among-region variations of the gas-trointestinal microbiota in free-living non-mammalian vertebrate taxa. We used Illumina MiSeq sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA amplicons to compare the diversity as well as taxo-nomic composition of bacterial communities in proximal vs. distal parts of the gastrointestinal tract (represented by oral swabs and faecal samples, respectively) in a wild passerine bird, the great tit (Parus major). The diversity of the oral microbiota was significantly higher compared to the faecal microbiota, whereas interindividual variation was higher in faecal than in oral samples. We also observed a pronounced difference in taxonomic content between the oral and faecal microbiota. Bacteria belonging to the phyla Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria typically dominated in both oral and faecal samples. A high abundance of bacteria belonging to Tenericutes was observed only in faecal samples. Surprisingly, we found only a slight correlation between the faecal and oral microbiota at the within-individual level, suggesting that the microbial composition in these body sites is shaped by independent regulatory processes. Given the independence of these two communities at the individual level, we propose that simultaneous sampling of the faecal and oral microbiota will extend our understanding of host vs. microbiota interactions in wild populations.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 28, 2019 - 10:46:51 PM
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Lucie Kropáčková, Hana Pechmanová, Michal Vinkler, Jana Svobodová, Hana Velová, et al.. Variation between the oral and faecal microbiota in a free-living passerine bird, the great tit (Parus major). PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2017, 12 (6), pp.e0179945. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0179945⟩. ⟨hal-02336539⟩

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