Gut Microbial Composition of Wild Red and Sand Shiners

Jenn Hoskins
23rd May, 2024

Gut Microbial Composition of Wild Red and Sand Shiners

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study examined the gut microbiomes of two small-bodied fish species, red shiner and sand shiner, from rivers in Nebraska, USA
  • Both fish species had gut bacterial communities dominated by typical freshwater fish bacteria, distinct from the surrounding water
  • Environmental factors like temperature, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen significantly influenced the gut bacterial communities in these fish
Understanding the gut microbiome of fish is crucial for insights into their physiology and health. Recent research from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln[1] delves into the bacterial communities of two small-bodied fish species, Cyprinella lutrensis (red shiner) and Notropis stramineus (sand shiner), whose gut microbiomes had not been previously studied. This study aims to evaluate microbial diversity in these fish and identify bacteria that are consistently present, regardless of location, to better understand their roles. The researchers collected fish and water samples from rivers in Nebraska, USA. They found that both fish species exhibited gut bacterial communities dominated by typical bacterial phyla found in freshwater fish. Interestingly, the phylum Bacteroidota was minimally abundant in these fish compared to the surrounding water. This suggests that fish gut microbiomes are distinct from their environment, indicating the presence of host-associated bacterial species that might aid in nutrient digestion and protect against environmental pathogens. These findings align with previous studies emphasizing the importance of gut microbiota in host metabolism and health. For instance, research on grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) showed that the gut microbiome plays a significant role in metabolism, influenced by factors like diet and environment[2]. Similarly, the new study highlights how environmental conditions such as turbidity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and total nitrogen affect the fish gut bacterial communities. The study also revealed that while red shiner and sand shiner share notable similarities in bacterial taxa at the phylum level, they exhibit differences at the ASV (amplicon sequence variant) level. This suggests that both intrinsic factors (such as host species) and extrinsic factors (such as environmental conditions) shape the gut bacterial composition. This finding is consistent with earlier research indicating that both biotic and abiotic factors influence gut bacterial communities in fish[3]. Moreover, the study's focus on small-bodied fish adds a new dimension to our understanding of fish microbiomes. Previous studies have largely concentrated on larger fish species or those of commercial importance. By investigating smaller, wild fish, this research provides a broader perspective on the diversity and ecology of fish gut microbiomes. In summary, this study from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln contributes significantly to our understanding of fish gut microbiomes by highlighting the distinct bacterial communities in small-bodied fish and the factors influencing them. It underscores the importance of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors in shaping these communities, adding to the growing body of knowledge on fish microbiomes and their roles in host health and physiology.

BiochemAnimal ScienceMarine Biology


Main Study

1) Gut Microbial Composition of Cyprinella lutrensis (Red Shiner) and Notropis stramineus (Sand Shiner): Insights from Wild Fish Populations

Published 22nd May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Factors influencing the grass carp gut microbiome and its effect on metabolism.

3) Environmental and ecological factors that shape the gut bacterial communities of fish: a meta-analysis.

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