Microbial symbionts can play critical roles when their host attempts to colonize a new habitat. The lack of symbiont adaptation can in fact hinder the invasion process of their host. This scenario could change if the exotic species are able to acquire microorganisms from the invaded environment. Understanding the ecological factors that influence the take-up of new microorganisms is thus essential to clarify the mechanisms behind biological invasions. In this study, we tested whether different forest habitats influence the structure of the fungal communities associated with ambrosia beetles. We collected individuals of the most widespread exotic (Xylosandrus germanus) and native (Xyleborinus saxesenii) ambrosia beetle species in Europe in several old-growth and restored forests. We characterized the fungal communities associated with both species via metabarcoding. We showed that forest habitat shaped the community of fungi associated with both species, but the effect was stronger for the exotic X. germanus. Our results support the hypothesis that the direct contact with the mycobiome of the invaded environment might lead an exotic species to acquire native fungi. This process is likely favored by the occurrence of a bottleneck effect at the mycobiome level and/or the disruption of the mechanisms sustaining co-evolved insect-fungi symbiosis. Our study contributes to the understanding of the factors affecting insect-microbes interactions, helping to clarify the mechanisms behind biological invasions.

Acquisition of fungi from the environment modifies ambrosia beetle mycobiome during invasion

Malacrinò, Antonino
2019

Abstract

Microbial symbionts can play critical roles when their host attempts to colonize a new habitat. The lack of symbiont adaptation can in fact hinder the invasion process of their host. This scenario could change if the exotic species are able to acquire microorganisms from the invaded environment. Understanding the ecological factors that influence the take-up of new microorganisms is thus essential to clarify the mechanisms behind biological invasions. In this study, we tested whether different forest habitats influence the structure of the fungal communities associated with ambrosia beetles. We collected individuals of the most widespread exotic (Xylosandrus germanus) and native (Xyleborinus saxesenii) ambrosia beetle species in Europe in several old-growth and restored forests. We characterized the fungal communities associated with both species via metabarcoding. We showed that forest habitat shaped the community of fungi associated with both species, but the effect was stronger for the exotic X. germanus. Our results support the hypothesis that the direct contact with the mycobiome of the invaded environment might lead an exotic species to acquire native fungi. This process is likely favored by the occurrence of a bottleneck effect at the mycobiome level and/or the disruption of the mechanisms sustaining co-evolved insect-fungi symbiosis. Our study contributes to the understanding of the factors affecting insect-microbes interactions, helping to clarify the mechanisms behind biological invasions.
Exotic pest
Metabarcoding
Xyleborinus saxesenii
Xylosandrus germanus
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/130187
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