Association of host and microbial species diversity across spatial scales in desert rodent communities.

PLoS ONE. 2014;9(10):e109677 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0109677

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML

 

AUTHORS

Yoni Gavish
Hadar Kedem
Irit Messika
Carmit Cohen
Evelyn Toh
Daniel Munro
Qunfeng Dong
Clay Fuqua
Keith Clay
Hadas Hawlena

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

Relationships between host and microbial diversity have important ecological and applied implications. Theory predicts that these relationships will depend on the spatio-temporal scale of the analysis and the niche breadth of the organisms in question, but representative data on host-microbial community assemblage in nature is lacking. We employed a natural gradient of rodent species richness and quantified bacterial communities in rodent blood at several hierarchical spatial scales to test the hypothesis that associations between host and microbial species diversity will be positive in communities dominated by organisms with broad niches sampled at large scales. Following pyrosequencing of rodent blood samples, bacterial communities were found to be comprised primarily of broad niche lineages. These communities exhibited positive correlations between host diversity, microbial diversity and the likelihood for rare pathogens at the regional scale but not at finer scales. These findings demonstrate how microbial diversity is affected by host diversity at different spatial scales and suggest that the relationships between host diversity and overall disease risk are not always negative, as the dilution hypothesis predicts.