[MARMAM] New publication: evidence of link between marine mammal phylogeny and skin microbiota

Amy Van Cise avancise at gmail.com
Thu May 21 07:33:40 PDT 2020


On behalf of my co-authors, I'm happy to announce the publication of our
new paper, available at RSOS

Apprill A, Miller C, Van Cise A, U’Ren JM, Leslie MS, Weber L, Baird RW,
Robbins J, Landry S, Niemeyer M, Rose K, Bogomolni A, Waring G. 2020.
Marine mammal skin microbiotas are influenced by host phylogeny. Royal
Society of Open Science. 7: 192046. doi.org/10.1098/rsos.192046

*Abstract*: Skin-associated microorganisms have been shown to play a role
in immune function and disease of humans, but are understudied in marine
mammals, a diverse animal group that serve as sentinels of ocean health. We
examined the microbiota associated with 75 epidermal samples
opportunistically collected from nine species within four marine mammal
families, including: Balaenopteridae (sei and fin whales), Phocidae
(harbour seal), Physeteridae (sperm whales) and Delphinidae (bottlenose
dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins,
short-finned pilot whales and melon-headed whales). The skin was sampled
from free-ranging animals in Hawai‘i (Pacific Ocean) and off the east coast
of the United States (Atlantic Ocean), and the composition of the bacterial
community was examined using the sequencing of partial small subunit (SSU)
ribosomal RNA genes. Skin microbiotas were significantly different among
host species and taxonomic families, and microbial community distance was
positively correlated with mitochondrial-based host genetic divergence. The
oceanic location could play a role in skin microbiota variation, but skin
from species sampled in both locations is necessary to determine this
influence. These data suggest that a phylosymbiotic relationship may exist
between microbiota and their marine mammal hosts, potentially providing
specific health and immune-related functions that contribute to the success
of these animals in diverse ocean ecosystems.

The paper is open access and can be downloaded from RSOS
<https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsos.192046>, but please
feel free to reach out to myself or the primary author, Amy Apprill (
aapprill at whoi.edu), with any questions you may have.

Warm regards,
Amy Van Cise

<*)))><  <*)))><  <*)))><  <*)))><  <*)))><  <*)))><  <*)))><  <*)))><
Amy M. Van Cise, Ph.D.
Research Biologist, Cascadia Research Collective
Guest Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

218 1/2 4th Ave W
Olympia, WA 98501
https://amyvancise.weebly.com/ <https://amyvancise.wordpress.com/>
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