Table_4_A Risky Business? Habitat and Social Behavior Impact Skin and Gut Microbiomes in Caribbean Cleaning Gobies.DOCX (15.99 kB)
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Table_4_A Risky Business? Habitat and Social Behavior Impact Skin and Gut Microbiomes in Caribbean Cleaning Gobies.DOCX

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posted on 09.04.2019, 13:49 by Raquel Xavier, Renata Mazzei, Marcos Pérez-Losada, Daniela Rosado, Joana L. Santos, Ana Veríssimo, Marta C. Soares

The broadstripe cleaning goby Elacatinus prochilos has two alternative ecotypes: sponge-dwellers, which live in large groups and feed mainly upon nematode parasites; and coral-dwellers, that live in small groups or in solitude and behave as cleaners. Recent studies focusing on the skin and gut microbiomes of tropical fish showed that microbial communities are influenced mainly by diet and host species. Here, we compare the skin and gut microbiomes of the Caribbean broadstripe cleaning goby E. prochilos alternative ecotypes (cleaners and non-cleaners) from Barbados and predict that different habitat use and behavior (cleaning vs. non-cleaning) will translate in different bacterial profiles between the two ecotypes. We found significant differences in both alpha- and beta-diversity of skin and gut microbiomes belonging to different ecotypes. Importantly, the skin microbiome of obligate cleaners showed greater intra-sample diversity and harbored a significantly higher prevalence of potential fish pathogens. Likewise, potential pathogens were also more prevalent in the gut of obligate cleaners. We suggest that habitat use, diet, but also direct contact with potential diseased clientele during cleaning, could be the cause for these patterns.

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