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Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.642543

Patterns of microbiome variation among infrapopulations of permanent bloodsucking parasites Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

 Jorge Doña1, 2*, Stephany Virrueta Herrera1,  Tommi Nyman3, Mervi Kunnasranta3 and Kevin P. Johnson1
  • 1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
  • 2University of Granada, Spain
  • 3University of Eastern Finland, Finland

While interspecific variation in microbiome composition can often be readily explained by factors such as host species identity, there is still limited knowledge of how microbiomes vary at scales lower than the species level (e.g., between individuals or populations). Here, we evaluated variation in microbiome composition of individual parasites among infrapopulations (i.e., populations of parasites of the same species living on a single host individual). To address this question, we used genome-resolved and shotgun metagenomic data of 17 infrapopulations (balanced design) of the permanent, bloodsucking seal louse Echinophthirius horridus sampled from individual Saimaa ringed seals Pusa hispida saimensis. Both genome-resolved and read-based metagenomic classification approaches consistently show that parasite infrapopulation identity is a significant factor that explains both qualitative and quantitative patterns of microbiome variation at the intraspecific level. This study contributes to the general understanding of the factors driving patterns of intraspecific variation in microbiome composition, especially of bloodsucking parasites, and has implications for understanding how well-known processes occurring at higher taxonomic levels, such as phylosymbiosis, might arise in these systems.

Keywords: Genome-resolved metagenomics, Host-symbiont, intraspecific variation, lice, microbiota, Shotgun metagenomics, symbiont

Received: 16 Dec 2020; Accepted: 26 Mar 2021.

Copyright: © 2021 Doña, Virrueta Herrera, Nyman, Kunnasranta and Johnson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Jorge Doña, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, 61820, Illinois, United States,