Sea lamprey (SL; Petromyzon marinus), one of the oldest living vertebrates, have a complex metamorphic life cycle. Following hatching, SL transition into a microphagous, sediment burrowing larval stage, and after 2–10+ years, the larvae undergo a dramatic metamorphosis, transforming into parasitic juveniles that feed on blood and bodily fluids of fishes; adult lamprey cease feeding, spawn, and die. Since gut microbiota are critical for the overall health of all animals, we examined the microbiota associated with SLs in each life history stage. We show that there were significant differences in the gut bacterial communities associated with the larval, parasitic juvenile, and adult life stages. The transition from larval to the parasitic juvenile stage was marked with a significant shift in bacterial community structure and reduction in alpha diversity. The most abundant SL-associated phyla were Proteobacteria, Fusobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes, with their relative abundances varying among the stages. Moreover, while larval SL were enriched with unclassified Fusobacteriaceae, unclassified Verrucomicrobiales and Cetobacterium, members of the genera with fastidious nutritional requirements, such as Streptococcus, Haemophilus, Cutibacterium, Veillonella, and Massilia, were three to four orders of magnitude greater in juveniles than in larvae. In contrast, adult SLs were enriched with Aeromonas, Iodobacter, Shewanella, and Flavobacterium. Collectively, our findings show that bacterial communities in the SL gut are dramatically different among its life stages. Understanding how these communities change over time within and among SL life stages may shed more light on the role that these gut microbes play in host growth and fitness.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank James McKenna (USGS) for his comments and suggestions that helped improve this manuscript. This work was carried out, in part, by using computing resources at the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. Funding. This work was supported, in part, by funding from the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (to MS). The Great Lakes Fishery Commission also provided funding for salary (to NJ).
This work was supported, in part, by funding from the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (to MS). The Great Lakes Fishery Commission also provided funding for salary (to NJ).
© 2021, At least a portion of this work is authored by Muruleedhara Byappanahalli and Nicholas Johnson on behalf of the U.S Government and as regards, Dr. Byappanahalli and Dr. Johnson and the U.S Government, is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Foreign and other copyrights may apply.
- gut microbiota
- life stages
- microbial community structure
- Petromyzon marinus
- sea lamprey