Volume 25, Issue 12 p. 3435-3449
RESEARCH ARTICLE

A multi-study analysis of gut microbiome data from the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) emphasises the impact of depuration on biological interpretation

Tyler W. Griffin

Corresponding Author

Tyler W. Griffin

Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut, USA

Correspondence

Tyler W. Griffin, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, 1080 Shennecossett Road, Groton, CT 06340, USA.

Email: [email protected]

Contribution: Conceptualization (equal), Formal analysis (lead), Funding acquisition (supporting), ​Investigation (equal), Writing - original draft (lead), Writing - review & editing (lead)

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Mya A. Darsan

Mya A. Darsan

Department of Biological Sciences, University at Albany, Albany, New York, USA

Department of Marine and Environmental Science, Northeastern University, Nahant, Massachusetts, USA

Contribution: Conceptualization (equal), Formal analysis (supporting), Writing - review & editing (supporting)

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Hannah I. Collins

Hannah I. Collins

Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut, USA

Contribution: Funding acquisition (supporting), ​Investigation (equal), Writing - review & editing (supporting)

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Bridget A. Holohan

Bridget A. Holohan

Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut, USA

Contribution: ​Investigation (equal), Writing - review & editing (supporting)

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Melissa L. Pierce

Melissa L. Pierce

Discovery Partners Institute, Applied R&D, University of Illinois System, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Contribution: Funding acquisition (supporting), ​Investigation (equal), Writing - review & editing (supporting)

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J. Evan Ward

J. Evan Ward

Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut, USA

Contribution: Funding acquisition (lead), Supervision (lead), Writing - review & editing (supporting)

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First published: 08 November 2023

Abstract

The blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) is a suspension feeder which has been used in gut-microbiome surveys. Although raw 16S sequence data are often publicly available, unifying secondary analyses are lacking. The present work analysed raw data from seven projects conducted by one group over 7 years. Although each project had different motivations, experimental designs and conclusions, all selected samples were from the guts of M. edulis collected from a single location in Long Island Sound. The goal of this analysis was to determine which independent factors (e.g., collection date, depuration status) were responsible for governing composition and diversity in the gut microbiomes. Results indicated that whether mussels had undergone depuration, defined here as voidance of faeces in a controlled, no-food period, was the primary factor that governed gut microbiome composition. Gut microbiomes from non-depurated mussels were mixtures of resident and transient communities and were influenced by temporal factors. Resident communities from depurated mussels were influenced by the final food source and length of time host mussels were held under laboratory conditions. These findings reinforce the paradigm that gut microbiota are divided into resident and transient components and suggest that depuration status should be taken into consideration when designing and interpreting future experiments.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

DATA AVAILABILITY STATEMENT

The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in the NCBI Short Read Archive (SRA) under BioProject IDs: PRJNA386685, PRJNA622268, PRJNA699865, PRJNA823368 and PRJNA967333 (see Table 1).