Evidence for strong environmental control on bacterial microbiomes of Antarctic springtails
Collembola are a key component of the soil biota globally, playing an important role in community and ecosystem dynamics. Equally significant are their associated microbiomes, that can contribute to key metabolic functions. In the present study, we investigated the bacterial community composition of four Antarctic springtail species to assess if and how the extreme Antarctic environment has shaped the collembolans’ microbiomes. Springtails were collected from two biogeographical regions, the maritime and the continental Antarctic. From each region, two endemic species, belonging to the genera Cryptopygus (Isotomidae, Entomobryomorpha) and Friesea (Neanuridae, Poduromorpha), were included. This experimental design allowed us to quantify the relative importance of ecological factors (different regions of occurrence) and/or phylogenetic divergence in the host (different Orders) in shaping the Collembola microbiome. The diversity and richness of springtail microbiomes was lower in the Antarctic taxa compared to published information from species from temperate regions. The microbiome composition was predominantly species-specific, with a limited core microbiome shared across the four species examined. While both geographic origin and host species influenced the associated microbiomes, the former was the prevalent driver, with closer similarity between springtails from the same bioregion than between those belonging to the same genus.
Authors: Leo, Chiara, Nardi, Francesco, Cucini, Claudio, Frati, Francesco, Convey, Peter ORCID record for Peter Convey, Weedon, James T., Roelofs, Dick, Carapelli, Antonio