Host genetic selection for cold tolerance shapes microbiome composition and modulates its response to temperature

Fotini Kokou, Goor Sasson, Tali Nitzan, Adi Doron-Faigenboim, Sheenan Harpaz, Avner Cnaani, Itzhak Mizrahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

The hologenome concept proposes that microbes and their host organism are an independent unit of selection. Motivated by this concept, we hypothesized that thermal acclimation in poikilothermic organisms, owing to their inability to maintain their body temperature, is connected to their microbiome composition. To test this hypothesis, we used a unique experimental setup with a transgenerational selective breeding scheme for cold tolerance in tropical tilapias. We tested the effects of the selection on the gut microbiome and on host transcriptomic response. Interestingly, we found that host genetic selection for thermal tolerance shapes the microbiome composition and its response to cold. The microbiomes of cold-resistant fish showed higher resilience to temperature changes, indicating that the microbiome is shaped by its host’s selection. These findings are consistent with the hologenome concept and highlight the connection between the host and its microbiome’s response to the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere36398
JournaleLife
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2018

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