Category Archives: Ecology

Host lifestyle affects human microbiota on daily timescales

Fascinating! Abstract: Disturbance to human microbiota may underlie several pathologies. Yet, we lack a comprehensive understanding of how lifestyle affects the dynamics of human-associated microbial communities. Here, we link over 10,000 longitudinal measurements of human wellness and action to the … Continue reading

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Eco-evolutionary feedbacks drive species interactions

This. Is. Awesome. Link Abstract: In the biosphere, many species live in close proximity and can thus interact in many different ways. Such interactions are dynamic and fall along a continuum between antagonism and cooperation. Because interspecies interactions are the … Continue reading

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Diversity, stability and resilience of the human gut microbiota

Lozupone et al. Nature 2012 Trillions of microbes inhabit the human intestine, forming a complex ecological community that influences normal physiology and susceptibility to disease through its collective metabolic activities and host interactions. Understanding the factors that underlie changes in … Continue reading

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Journal: Nat Rev Micro

Metagenomics and 16S pyrosequencing have enabled the study of ecosystem structure and dynamics to great depth and accuracy. Co-occurrence and correlation patterns found in these data sets are increasingly used for the prediction of species interactions in environments ranging from the oceans to the human microbiome. In addition, parallelized co-culture assays and combinatorial labelling experiments allow high-throughput discovery of cooperative and competitive relationships between species. In this Review, we describe how these techniques are opening the way towards global ecosystem network prediction and the development of ecosystem-wide dynamic models.




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Gut microbiota instead of host genotype drive the specificity in the interaction of a natural host-parasite system


  • 16S rRNA;
  • bacterial communities;
  • coevolution;
  • microbiome;
  • parasitology;
  • pathogen;
  • resistance;
  • TRFLP;
  • Trypanosomatidae


Specific interactions between parasite genotypes and host genotypes (Gp × Gh) are commonly found in invertebrate systems, but are largely lacking a mechanistic explanation. The genotype of invertebrate hosts can be complemented by the genomes of microorganisms living on or within the host (‘microbiota’). We investigated whether the bacterial gut microbiota of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) can account for the specificity of interactions between individuals from different colonies (previously taken as host genotype proxy) and genotypes of the parasite Crithidia bombi. For this, we transplanted the microbiota between individuals of six colonies. Both the general infection load and the specific success of different C. bombi genotypes were mostly driven by the microbiota, rather than by worker genotype. Variation in gut microbiota can therefore be responsible for specific immune phenotypes and the evolution of gut parasites may be driven by interactions with ‘microbiota types’ as well as with host genotypes.

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