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Bacterial diversity and composition in the fluid of pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2015
Author Takeuchi Yayoi, Chaffron Samuel, Salcher Michaela M., Shimizu-Inatsugi Rie, Kobayashi Masaki J., Diway Bibian, von Mering Christian, Pernthaler Jakob, Shimizu Kentaro K.,
Project Recurrent patterns in molecular adaptation and speciation: evolutionary genomic analysis using Arabidopsis relatives
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Systematic and Applied Microbiology
Volume (Issue) 38(5)
Page(s) 330 - 339
Title of proceedings Systematic and Applied Microbiology
DOI 10.1016/j.syapm.2015.05.006


Pitchers are modi ed leaves used by carnivorous plants for trapping prey. Their uids contain digestive enzymes from the plant and they harbor abundant microbes. In this study, the diversity of bacterial communities was assessed in Nepenthes pitcher uids and the composition of the bacterial com- munity was compared to that in other environments, including the phyllosphere of Arabidopsis, animal guts and another pitcher plant, Sarracenia. Diversity was measured by 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. A total of 232,823 sequences were obtained after chimera and singleton removal that clustered into 3260 distinct operational taxonomic units (OTUs) (3% dissimilarity), which were taxo- nomically distributed over 17 phyla, 25 classes, 45 orders, 100 families, and 195 genera. Pyrosequencing and uorescence in situ hybridization yielded similar estimates of community composition. Most pitchers contained high proportions of unique OTUs, and only 22 OTUs (<0.6%) were shared by 14/16 samples, suggesting a unique bacterial assemblage in each pitcher at the OTU level. Diversity analysis at the class level revealed that the bacterial communities of both opened and unopened pitchers were most similar to that of Sarracenia and to that in the phyllosphere. Therefore, the bacterial community in pitchers may be formed by environmental ltering and/or by phyllosphere bacteria.