Geography, Host Genetics, and Cross-Domain Microbial Networks Structure the Skin Microbiota of Fragmented Brazilian Atlantic Forest Frog Populations

Anat M. Belasen, Maria A. Riolo, Molly C. Bletz, Mariana L. Lyra, L. Felipe Toledo, Timothy Y. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The host-associated microbiome plays a significant role in health. However, the roles of factors such as host genetics and microbial interactions in determining microbiome diversity remain unclear. We examined these factors using amplicon-based sequencing of 175 Thoropa taophora frog skin swabs collected from a naturally fragmented landscape in southeastern Brazil. Specifically, we examined (1) the effects of geography and host genetics on microbiome diversity and structure; (2) the structure of microbial eukaryotic and bacterial co-occurrence networks; and (3) co-occurrence between microeukaryotes with bacterial OTUs known to affect growth of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). While bacterial alpha diversity varied by both site type and host MHC IIB genotype, microeukaryotic alpha diversity varied only by site type. However, bacteria and microeukaryote composition showed variation according to both site type and host MHC IIB genotype. Our network analysis showed the highest connectivity when both eukaryotes and bacteria were included, implying that ecological interactions may occur among domains. Lastly, anti-Bd bacteria were not broadly negatively co-associated with the fungal microbiome and were positively associated with potential amphibian parasites. Our findings emphasize the importance of considering both domains in microbiome research and suggest that for effective probiotic strategies for amphibian disease management, considering potential interactions among all members of the microbiome is crucial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9293-9307
Number of pages15
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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