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Nest bacterial environment affects microbiome of hoopoe eggshells, but not that of the uropygial secretion

AuthorsSoler, Juan José ; Martínez García, Ángela ; Martín-Vivaldi, Manuel; Rodríguez Ruano, Sonia M.; Peralta-Sánchez, Juan M. ; Valdivia, Eva
Issue Date13-Jul-2016
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS ONE 11(7): e0158158 (2016)
AbstractThe study of associations between symbiotic bacterial communities of hosts and those of surrounding environments would help to understand how bacterial assemblages are acquired, and how they are transmitted from one to another location (i.e. symbiotic bacteria acquisition by hosts). Hoopoes (Upupa epops) smear their eggshells with uropygial secretion (oily secretion produced in their uropygial gland) that harbors antibiotic producing bacteria. Trying to elucidate a possible role of nest material and cloaca microbiota in determining the bacterial community of the uropygial gland and the eggshells of hoopoes, we characterized bacterial communities of nest material, cloaca, uropygial gland and eggshells by the ARISA fingerprinting. Further, by adding material with scarce bacteria and antimicrobial properties, we manipulated the bacterial community of nest material and thus tested experimentally its effects on the microbiomes of the uropygial secretion and of the eggshells. The experiment did not influence the microbiome of the uropygial secretion of females, but affected the community established on eggshells. This is the first experimental evidence indicating that nest material influences the bacterial community of the eggshells and, therefore, probability of embryo infection. Some of the bacterial strains detected in the secretion were also in the bacterial communities of the nest material and of cloaca, but their occurrence within nests was not associated, which suggests that bacterial environments of nest material and cloaca are not sources of symbiotic bacteria for the gland. These results do not support a role of nest environments of hoopoes as reservoirs of symbiotic bacteria. We discuss possible scenarios explaining bacterial acquisition by hoopoes that should be further explored
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0158158
Appears in Collections:(EEZA) Artículos
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