Fungal microbiomes are determined by host phylogeny and exhibit widespread associations with the bacterial microbiome

Harrison, XA, McDevitt, A ORCID:, Dunn, JC, Griffiths, S, Benvenuto, C ORCID:, Birtles, RJ ORCID:, Boubli, JP ORCID:, Bown, K ORCID:, Bridson, C, Brooks, D, Browett, SS, Carden, RF, Chantrey, J, Clever, F, Coscia, I ORCID:, Edwards, KL, Ferry, N ORCID:, Goodhead, IB ORCID:, Highlands, A, Hopper, J, Jackson, JA ORCID:, Jehle, R ORCID:, Da Cruz Kaizer, M ORCID:, King, T, Lea, JMD, Lenka, JL ORCID:, McCubbin, A, Mckenzie, J, de Moraes, BLC, O’Meara, DB, Pescod, P, Preziosi, RF, Rowntree, JK, Shultz, S, Silk, MJ, Stockdale, JE, Symondson, WOC, de la Pena, MV, Walker, SL, Wood, M ORCID: and Antwis, RE ORCID: 2021, Fungal microbiomes are determined by host phylogeny and exhibit widespread associations with the bacterial microbiome [Experiment].

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Interactions between hosts and their resident microbial communities are a fundamental component of fitness for both agents. Though recent research has highlighted the importance of interactions between animals and their bacterial communities, comparative evidence for fungi is lacking, especially in natural populations. Using data from 49 species, we present novel evidence of strong covariation between fungal and bacterial communities across the host phylogeny, indicative of recruitment by hosts for specific suites of microbes. Using co-occurrence networks, we demonstrate that fungi form critical components of putative microbial interaction networks, where the strength and frequency of interactions varies with host taxonomy. Host phylogeny drives differences in overall richness of bacterial and fungal communities, but the effect of diet on richness was only evident in mammals and for the bacterial microbiome. Collectively these data indicate fungal microbiomes may play a key role in host fitness and suggest an urgent need to study multiple agents of the animal microbiome to accurately determine the strength and ecological significance of host-microbe interactions.
SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Microbes perform vital metabolic functions that shape the physiology of their hosts. However, almost all research to date in wild animals has focused exclusively on the bacterial microbiota, to the exclusion of other microbial groups. Although likely to be critical components of the host microbiome, we have limited knowledge of the drivers of fungal composition across host species. Here we show that fungal community composition is determined by host species identity and phylogeny, and that fungi form extensive interaction networks with bacteria in the microbiome of a diverse range of animal species. This highlights the importance of microbial interactions as mediators of microbiome-health relationships in the wild.

Item Type: Experiment
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Prof JP Boubli
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2021 15:41
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 14:47

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