Microbiome reduction and endosymbiont gain from a switch in sea urchin life history.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Animal gastrointestinal tracts harbor a microbiome that is integral to host function, yet species from diverse phyla have evolved a reduced digestive system or lost it completely. Whether such changes are associated with alterations in the diversity and/or abundance of the microbiome remains an untested hypothesis in evolutionary symbiosis. Here, using the life history transition from planktotrophy (feeding) to lecithotrophy (nonfeeding) in the sea urchin Heliocidaris , we demonstrate that the lack of a functional gut corresponds with a reduction in microbial community diversity and abundance as well as the association with a diet-specific microbiome. We also determine that the lecithotroph vertically transmits a Rickettsiales that may complement host nutrition through amino acid biosynthesis and influence host reproduction. Our results indicate that the evolutionary loss of a functional gut correlates with a reduction in the microbiome and the association with an endosymbiont. Symbiotic transitions can therefore accompany life history transitions in the evolution of developmental strategies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Carrier, TJ; Leigh, BA; Deaker, DJ; Devens, HR; Wray, GA; Bordenstein, SR; Byrne, M; Reitzel, AM

Published Date

  • April 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 118 / 16

PubMed ID

  • 33853946

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8072398

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.2022023118


  • eng