Antimicrobial activity and carbohydrate metabolism in the bacterial metagenome of the soil-living invertebrate Folsomia candida

Valeria Agamennone*, Ngoc Giang Le, Nico M van Straalen, Abraham Brouwer, Dick Roelofs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The microbiome associated with an animal’s gut and other organs is considered an integral part of its ecological functions and adaptive capacity. To better understand how microbial communities influence activities and capacities of the host, we need more information on the functions that are encoded in a microbiome. Until now, the information about soil invertebrate microbiomes is mostly based on taxonomic characterization, achieved through culturing and amplicon sequencing. Using shotgun sequencing and various bioinformatics approaches we explored functions in the bacterial metagenome associated with the soil invertebrate Folsomia candida, an established model organism in soil ecology with a fully sequenced, high-quality genome assembly. Our metagenome analysis revealed a remarkable diversity of genes associated with antimicrobial activity and carbohydrate metabolism. The microbiome also contains several homologs to F. candida genes that were previously identified as candidates for horizontal gene transfer (HGT). We suggest that the carbohydrate- and antimicrobial-related functions encoded by Folsomia’s metagenome play a role in the digestion of recalcitrant soil-born polysaccharides and the defense against pathogens, thereby significantly contributing to the adaptation of these animals to life in the soil. Furthermore, the transfer of genes from the microbiome may constitute an important source of new functions for the springtail.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7308
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2019

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