Gut Microbiota of Great Spotted Cuckoo Nestlings is a Mixture of Those of Their Foster Magpie Siblings and of Cuckoo Adults
MetadataShow full item record
AuthorRuiz-Rodríguez, Magdalena; Martín-Vivaldi Martínez, Manuel Lorenzo; Martínez Bueno, Manuel; Soler Cruz, Juan José
Brood parasitismCloaca microbiotaHost diet and gut microbiomeHost genetic and gut microbiota
Ruiz-Rodríguez, M. [et al.]. Gut Microbiota of Great Spotted Cuckoo Nestlings is a Mixture of Those of Their Foster Magpie Siblings and of Cuckoo Adults. Genes 2018, 9, 381; doi:10.3390/genes9080381.
SponsorshipThis work was supported by the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovacion y Universidades and European (FEDER) funds (CGL2017-83103-P).
Diet and host genetic or evolutionary history are considered the two main factors determining gut microbiota of animals, although studies are scarce in natural populations. The system of great spotted cuckoos (Clamator glandarius) parasitizing magpies (Pica pica) is ideal to study both effects since magpie adults feed cuckoo and magpie nestlings with the same diet and, consequently, differences in gut microbiota of nestlings of these two species will mainly reflect the importance of genetic components. Moreover, the diet of adults and of nestling cuckoos drastically differ from each other and, thus, differences and similarities in their microbiotas would respectively reflect the effect of environmental and genetic factors. We used next-generation sequencing technologies to analyze the gut microbiota of cuckoo adults and nestlings and of magpie nestlings. The highest -diversity estimates appeared in nestling cuckoos and the lowest in nestling magpies. Moreover, despite the greatest differences in the microbiome composition of magpies and cuckoos of both ages, cuckoo nestlings harbored a mixture of the Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) present in adult cuckoos and nestling magpies. We identified the bacterial taxa responsible for such results. These results suggest important phylogenetic components determining gut microbiome of nestlings, and that diet might be responsible for similarities between gut microbiome of cuckoo and magpie nestlings that allow cuckoos to digest food provided by magpie adults.