Mapping the Green-Lipped Mussel (Perna canaliculus) Microbiome: A Multi-Tissue Analysis of Bacterial and Fungal Diversity
Li, S; Young, T; Archer, S; Lee, K; Sharma, S; Alfaro, AC
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Poor health and mortality events of the commercially important and endemic New Zealand green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) pose a threat to its industry. Despite the known importance of microbiomes to animal health and environmental resilience, the host-associated microbiome is unexplored in this species. We conducted the first baseline characterization of bacteria and fungi within key host tissues (gills, haemolymph, digestive gland, and stomach) using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA gene and ITS1 region for bacteria and fungi, respectively. Tissue types displayed distinctive bacterial profiles, consistent among individuals, that were dominated by phyla which reflect (1) a fluid exchange between the circulatory system (gills and haemolymph) and surrounding aqueous environment and (2) a highly diverse digestive system (digestive gland and stomach) microbiota. Gammaproteobacteria and Campylobacterota were mostly identified in the gill tissue and haemolymph, and were also found in high abundance in seawater. Digestive gland and stomach tissues were dominated by common gut bacterial phyla, such as Firmicutes, Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidota, which reflects the selectivity of the digestive system and food-based influences. Other major notable taxa included the family Spirochaetaceae, and genera Endozoicomonas, Psychrilyobacter, Moritella and Poseidonibacter, which were highly variable among tissue types and samples. More than 50% of fungal amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) were unclassified beyond the phylum level, which reflects the lack of studies with marine fungi. However, the majority of those identified were assigned to the phylum Ascomycota. The findings from this work provide the first insight into healthy tissue microbiomes of P. canaliculus and is of central importance to understanding the effect of environmental changes on farmed mussels at the microbial level.