Tags

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Variability in snake skin microbial assemblages across spatial scales and disease states.
ISME J. 2019 09; 13(9):2209-2222.IJ

Abstract

Understanding how biological patterns translate into functional processes across different scales is a central question in ecology. Within a spatial context, extent is used to describe the overall geographic area of a study, whereas grain describes the overall unit of observation. This study aimed to characterize the snake skin microbiota (grain) and to determine host-microbial assemblage-pathogen effects across spatial extents within the Southern United States. The causative agent of snake fungal disease, Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, is a fungal pathogen threatening snake populations. We hypothesized that the skin microbial assemblage of snakes differs from its surrounding environment, by host species, spatial scale, season, and in the presence of O. ophiodiicola. We collected snake skin swabs, soil samples, and water samples across six states in the Southern United States (macroscale extent), four Tennessee ecoregions (mesoscale extent), and at multiple sites within each Tennessee ecoregion (microscale extent). These samples were subjected to DNA extraction and quantitative PCR to determine the presence/absence of O. ophiodiicola. High-throughput sequencing was also utilized to characterize the microbial communities. We concluded that the snake skin microbial assemblage was partially distinct from environmental microbial communities. Snake host species was strongly predictive of the skin microbiota at macro-, meso-, and microscale spatial extents; however, the effect was variable across geographic space and season. Lastly, the presence of the fungal pathogen O. ophiodiicola is predictive of skin microbial assemblages across macro- and meso-spatial extents, and particular bacterial taxa associate with O. ophiodiicola pathogen load. Our results highlight the importance of scale regarding wildlife host-pathogen-microbial assemblage interactions.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Toxicology and Disease Group, Biology Department, Middle Tennessee State University, PO Box 60, Murfreesboro, TN, USA. Donald.Walker@mtsu.edu.Department of Biology, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN, USA.Toxicology and Disease Group, Biology Department, Middle Tennessee State University, PO Box 60, Murfreesboro, TN, USA.Toxicology and Disease Group, Biology Department, Middle Tennessee State University, PO Box 60, Murfreesboro, TN, USA.Department of Biology, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN, USA.Wildlife Epidemiology Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31065028

Citation

Walker, Donald M., et al. "Variability in Snake Skin Microbial Assemblages Across Spatial Scales and Disease States." The ISME Journal, vol. 13, no. 9, 2019, pp. 2209-2222.
Walker DM, Leys JE, Grisnik M, et al. Variability in snake skin microbial assemblages across spatial scales and disease states. ISME J. 2019;13(9):2209-2222.
Walker, D. M., Leys, J. E., Grisnik, M., Grajal-Puche, A., Murray, C. M., & Allender, M. C. (2019). Variability in snake skin microbial assemblages across spatial scales and disease states. The ISME Journal, 13(9), 2209-2222. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-019-0416-x
Walker DM, et al. Variability in Snake Skin Microbial Assemblages Across Spatial Scales and Disease States. ISME J. 2019;13(9):2209-2222. PubMed PMID: 31065028.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Variability in snake skin microbial assemblages across spatial scales and disease states. AU - Walker,Donald M, AU - Leys,Jacob E, AU - Grisnik,Matthew, AU - Grajal-Puche,Alejandro, AU - Murray,Christopher M, AU - Allender,Matthew C, Y1 - 2019/05/07/ PY - 2018/08/24/received PY - 2019/04/12/accepted PY - 2019/04/10/revised PY - 2019/5/9/pubmed PY - 2020/2/6/medline PY - 2019/5/9/entrez SP - 2209 EP - 2222 JF - The ISME journal JO - ISME J VL - 13 IS - 9 N2 - Understanding how biological patterns translate into functional processes across different scales is a central question in ecology. Within a spatial context, extent is used to describe the overall geographic area of a study, whereas grain describes the overall unit of observation. This study aimed to characterize the snake skin microbiota (grain) and to determine host-microbial assemblage-pathogen effects across spatial extents within the Southern United States. The causative agent of snake fungal disease, Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, is a fungal pathogen threatening snake populations. We hypothesized that the skin microbial assemblage of snakes differs from its surrounding environment, by host species, spatial scale, season, and in the presence of O. ophiodiicola. We collected snake skin swabs, soil samples, and water samples across six states in the Southern United States (macroscale extent), four Tennessee ecoregions (mesoscale extent), and at multiple sites within each Tennessee ecoregion (microscale extent). These samples were subjected to DNA extraction and quantitative PCR to determine the presence/absence of O. ophiodiicola. High-throughput sequencing was also utilized to characterize the microbial communities. We concluded that the snake skin microbial assemblage was partially distinct from environmental microbial communities. Snake host species was strongly predictive of the skin microbiota at macro-, meso-, and microscale spatial extents; however, the effect was variable across geographic space and season. Lastly, the presence of the fungal pathogen O. ophiodiicola is predictive of skin microbial assemblages across macro- and meso-spatial extents, and particular bacterial taxa associate with O. ophiodiicola pathogen load. Our results highlight the importance of scale regarding wildlife host-pathogen-microbial assemblage interactions. SN - 1751-7370 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31065028/Variability_in_snake_skin_microbial_assemblages_across_spatial_scales_and_disease_states_ L2 - http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41396-019-0416-x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -