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Historical DNA metabarcoding of the prey and microbiome of trematomid fishes using museum samples
Heindler, F.M.; Christiansen, H.; Frédérich, B.; Dettaï, A.; Lepoint, G.; Maes, G.E.; Van de Putte, A.P.; Volckaert, F.A.M. (2018). Historical DNA metabarcoding of the prey and microbiome of trematomid fishes using museum samples. Front. Ecol. Evol. 6: 151.
In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. Frontiers Media: Lausanne. ISSN 2296-701X; e-ISSN 2296-701X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    natural history museum; notothenioidei; 16S rRNA; COI; Southern Ocean;Antarctica

Authors  Top 
  • Heindler, F.M., more
  • Christiansen, H., more
  • Frédérich, B., more
  • Dettaï, A.
  • Lepoint, G., more
  • Maes, G.E., more
  • Van de Putte, A.P., more
  • Volckaert, F.A.M., more

    Antarctic specimens collected during various research expeditions are preserved in natural history collections around the world potentially offering a cornucopia of morphological and molecular data. Historical samples of marine species are, however, often preserved in formaldehyde which may render them useless for genetic analysis. We sampled stomachs and hindguts from 225 Trematomus specimens from the Natural History Museum London. These samples were initially collected between 20 and 100 years ago and fixed in either formaldehyde or ethanol. A 313 bp fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) was amplified and sequenced for prey item identification in the stomach and a 450 bp region of the 16S rRNA gene to investigate microbiome composition in the gut system. Both data sets were characterized by large dropout rates during extensive quality controls. Eventually, no unambiguous results regarding stomach content (COI) were retained, possibly due to degraded DNA, inefficient primers and contamination. In contrast, reliable microbiome composition data (16S rRNA) was obtained from 26 samples. These data showed a correlation in change of microbiome composition with fish size as well as year of the catch, indicating a microbiome shift throughout ontogeny and between samples from different decades. A comparison with contemporary samples indicated that the intestinal microbiome of Trematomus may have drastically changed within the last century. Further extensive studies are needed to confirm these patterns with higher sample numbers. Molecular analyses of museum stored fish can provide novel micro evolutionary insights that may benefit current efforts to prioritize conservation units in the Southern Ocean.

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