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Title: Host genetics, phenotype and geography structure the microbiome of a foundational seaweed
Authors: Wood, Georgina
Steinberg, Peter David
Campbell, Alexandra H.
Vergés, Adriana
Coleman, Melinda A.
Marzinelli, Ezequiel Miguel
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Wood, G., Steinberg, P. D., Campbell, A. H., Vergés, A., Coleman, M. A. & Marzinelli, E. M. (2022). Host genetics, phenotype and geography structure the microbiome of a foundational seaweed. Molecular Ecology, 31(7), 2189-2206.
Journal: Molecular Ecology 
Abstract: Interactions between hosts and their microbiota are vital to the functioning and resilience of macro-organisms. Critically, for hosts that play foundational roles in communities, understanding what drives host-microbiota interactions is essential for informing ecosystem restoration and conservation. We investigated the relative influence of host traits and the surrounding environment on microbial communities associated with the foundational seaweed Phyllospora comosa. We quantified 16 morphological and functional phenotypic traits, including host genetics (using 354 single nucleotide polymorphisms) and surface-associated microbial communities (using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing) from 160 individuals sampled from eight sites spanning Phyllospora's entire latitudinal distribution (1,300 km). Combined, these factors explained 54% of the overall variation in Phyllospora's associated microbial community structure, much of which was related to the local environment (~32%). We found that putative "core" microbial taxa (i.e., present on all Phyllospora individuals sampled) exhibited slightly higher associations with host traits when compared to "variable" taxa (not present on all individuals). We identified several key genetic loci and phenotypic traits in Phyllospora that were strongly related to multiple microbial amplicon sequence variants, including taxa with known associations to seaweed defence, disease and tissue degradation. This information on how host-associated microbial communities vary with host traits and the environment enhances our current understanding of how "holobionts" (hosts plus their microbiota) are structured. Such understanding can be used to inform management strategies of these important and vulnerable habitats.
ISSN: 0962-1083
DOI: 10.1111/mec.16378
Rights: © 2022 The Authors. Molecular Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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