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Investigation into the fungal diversity within different regions of the gastrointestinal tract of Panaque nigrolineatus, a wood-eating fish

1 School of Biological Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK
2 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, USA
3 Department of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, USA

Topical Section: Host-Microbe Interactions

The Amazonian catfish, Panaque nigrolineatus have several physiological adaptions enabling the scraping and consumption of wood (xylivory), facilitating a detritivorous dietary strategy. Composed of lignocellulose, wood is a difficult substrate to degrade and as yet, it is unclear whether the fish obtains any direct nutritional benefits from wood ingestion and degradation. However, there are numerous systems that rely on microbial symbioses to provide energy and other nutritional benefits for host organisms via lignocellulose decomposition. While previous studies on the microbial community of P. nigrolineatus have focused upon the bacterial population, the role of fungi in lignocellulose degradation in the fish has not yet been examined. This study describes the detection of fungi within the fish gastrointestinal tract. Using next generation sequencing, the effects of diet on enteric fungal populations were examined in each gastrointestinal tract region. Fungal species were found to vary in different regions of the gastrointestinal tract as a function of diet. This study is the first to examine the fungal community in a xylivorous fish and results support the hypothesis that diet influences fungal distribution and diversity within the gastrointestinal tract of P. nigrolineatus.
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Keywords fungi; microbiome; symbiosis; fish; Panaque nigrolineatus; gastrointestinal tract; wood; lignocellulose

Citation: Caroline L. Marden, Ryan McDonald, Harold J. Schreier, Joy E.M. Watts. Investigation into the fungal diversity within different regions of the gastrointestinal tract of Panaque nigrolineatus, a wood-eating fish. AIMS Microbiology, 2017, 3(4): 749-761. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2017.4.749

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