Yue QI,Wei ZHAO,Yangyang ZHAO,et al.The Role of Environmental Stress in Determining Gut Microbiome: Case Study of Two Sympatric Toad-headed Lizards[J].Asian Herpetological Research(AHR),2020,11(4):373-380.[doi:10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.200010]
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The Role of Environmental Stress in Determining Gut Microbiome: Case Study of Two Sympatric Toad-headed Lizards
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Asian Herpetological Research[ISSN:2095-0357/CN:51-1735/Q]

2020 VoI.11 No.4
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The Role of Environmental Stress in Determining Gut Microbiome: Case Study of Two Sympatric Toad-headed Lizards
Yue QI# Wei ZHAO*# Yangyang ZHAO Xiaoning WANG and Chenkai NIU
Gansu Key Laboratory of Biomonitoring and Bioremediation for Environmental Pollution, School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, Gansu, China
gut microbiota environmental factor environmental stress heritable factor toad-headed lizard
The gut microbiota has gained attention because of its importance in facilitating host survival and evolution. However, it is unclear whether gut microbial communities are determined by the host (heritable factor) or environment (environmental factor). In this study, we investigated the gut microbial communities and potential functional signatures of two sympatric species distributed along an elevation gradient, the toad-headed lizards Phrynocephalus axillaris and P. forsythii. Our results indicated that at high elevations, the gut microbial communities of P. axillaris and P. forsythii did not significantly differ, and the phylogenetic relationships of gut microbial communities contradicted their hosts. At low altitudes, the two lizards could be distinguished based on their significantly different gut microbial communities. Compared to low-altitude populations, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis showed that at higher altitudes, energy metabolism, such as carbohydrate, lipid, and amino acids metabolism were higher in both lizards. While a larger number of pathogenic bacteria were found in the low-altitude population of P. forsythii. This suggests that the convergence of gut microbiota of two lizards at high-altitude stem from environmental factors, as they were exposed to the same environmental stress, whereas the divergence at low-altitude stemmed from heritable factors, as they were exposed to different environmental stresses. These results provide a new perspective regarding whether heritable or environmental factors dominate the gut microbiota during exposure to environmental stress.


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Last Update: 2020-12-25