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Bacterial microbiomes from vertically-transmitted fungal inocula of the leaf-cutting ant Atta texana

Meirelles, Lucas A. and McFrederick, Quinn S. and Rodrigues, Andre and Mantovani, Joana D. and de Melo Rodovalho, Cynara and Ferreira, Henrique and Bacci, Maurício, Jr. and Mueller, Ulrich G. (2016) Bacterial microbiomes from vertically-transmitted fungal inocula of the leaf-cutting ant Atta texana. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 8 (5). pp. 630-640. ISSN 1758-2229. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160613-134600743

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Abstract

Microbiome surveys provide clues for the functional roles of symbiotic microbial communities and their hosts. In this study, we elucidated bacterial microbiomes associated with the vertically transmitted fungal inocula (pellets) used by foundress queens of the leaf-cutting ant Atta texana as starter-cultures for new gardens. As reference microbiomes, we also surveyed bacterial microbiomes of foundress queens, gardens and brood of incipient nests. Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Propionibacterium and Corynebacterium were consistently present in high abundance in microbiomes. Some pellet and ant samples contained abundant bacteria from an Entomoplasmatales-clade, and a separate PCR-based survey of Entomoplasmatales bacteria in eight attine ant-genera from Brazil placed these bacteria in a monophyletic clade within the bacterial genus Mesoplasma. The attine ant-Mesoplasma association parallels a similar association between a closely related, monophyletic Entomoplasmatales-clade and army ants. Of thirteen A. texana nests surveyed, three nests with exceptionally high Mesoplasma abundance died, whereas the other nests survived. It is unclear whether Mesoplasma was the primary cause of mortality, or Mesoplasma became abundant in moribund nests for non-pathogenic reasons. However, the consistent and geographically widespread presence of Mesoplasma suggests an important functional role in the association with attine ants.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1758-2229.12415DOIArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-2229.12415/abstractPublisherArticle
Additional Information:© 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Received 25 November, 2015; accepted 26 March, 2016, accepted manuscript online: 6 June 2016. We thank the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) for a fellowship to LAM to conduct the research at the University of Texas at Austin (awards 2013/08338-0 and 2013/25748-8), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) for support to UGM (awards 0919519 & 1354666). We are grateful to Melissa Kardish for lab support, and to Heather Ishak for help with Mesoplasma found in previous surveys. We thank Mariana Barcoto, Tássio Brito, Quimi Montoya, two anonymous reviewers, and the editor for exceedingly helpful comments on the manuscript. The authors declare no conflict of interest. The authors declare no conflict of interest. Data accessibility: Complete DNA sequences dataset: NCBI Sequence Read Archive accession SRP060331. DNA sequences used in phylogenetic analyses: GenBank accessions KT247990-KT248020. See also Figs. 1, S3 and S5.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP)2013/08338-0
Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP)2013/25748-8
NSFDEB-0919519
NSFDEB-1354666
Subject Keywords:16S rDNA sequencing; Mesoplasma; microbiota; bacterial communities; attine ants
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160613-134600743
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160613-134600743
Official Citation:Meirelles, L. A., McFrederick, Q. S., Rodrigues, A., Mantovani, J. D., de Melo Rodovalho, C., Ferreira, H., Bacci, M. and Mueller, U. G. (2016), Bacterial microbiomes from vertically transmitted fungal inocula of the leaf-cutting ant Atta texana. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 8: 630–640. doi:10.1111/1758-2229.12415
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:67883
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:13 Jun 2016 21:24
Last Modified:23 Mar 2017 23:17

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