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Low-diversity bacterial microbiota in Southern Ocean representatives of lanternfish genera Electrona, Protomyctophum and Gymnoscopelus (family Myctophidae)

Abstract : Myctophids are among the most abundant mesopelagic teleost fishes worldwide. They are dominant in the Southern Ocean, an extreme environment where they are important both as consumers of zooplankton as well as food items for larger predators. Various studies have investigated myctophids diet, but no data is yet available regarding their associated microbiota, despite that the significance of bacterial communities to fish health and adaptation is increasingly acknowledged. In order to document microbiota in key fish groups from the Southern Ocean, the bacterial communities associated with the gut, fin, gills and light organs of members of six species within the three myctophid genera Electrona, Protomyctophum and Gymnoscopelus were characterized using a 16S rRNA-based metabarcoding approach. Gut communities display limited diversity of mostly fish-specific lineages likely involved in food processing. Fin and skin communities display diversity levels and compositions resembling more those found in surrounding seawater. Community compositions are similar between genera Electrona and Protomyctophum, that differ from those found in Gymnoscopelus and in water. Low abundances of potentially light-emitting bacteria in light organs support the hypothesis of host production of light. This first description of myctophid-associated microbiota, and among the first on fish from the Southern Ocean, emphasizes the need to extend microbiome research beyond economically-important species, and start addressing ecologically-relevant species.
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Alison Gallet, Philippe Koubbi, Nelly Léger, Mathilde Scheifler, Magdalena Ruiz-Rodriguez, et al.. Low-diversity bacterial microbiota in Southern Ocean representatives of lanternfish genera Electrona, Protomyctophum and Gymnoscopelus (family Myctophidae). PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2019, 14 (12), pp.e0226159. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0226159⟩. ⟨mnhn-02421136⟩

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