Title

Investigating the Maternal Vertical Transmission of the Microbiome in Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Submitter and Co-author information

Taha Ismail, University of WindsorFollow

Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Oral Presentation

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Daniel Heath

Abstract/Description of Original Work

The microbiome of an organism is vital to various life factors including its development, behaviour and physiology. It is defined as the microbial community present and living in, or on the organism and is especially important in aquatic fish species. Studies in fish and other animals have shown that the microbiome is driven by environmental and host factors. Initially, the offspring incorporates its own microbiome before birth and then this is supplemented by various maternal microbes via birth and breastfeeding. However, the establishment of the microbiome at birth and the effects due to maternal origin on it, remain poorly understood, especially in non-human species. In this project, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) are used to analyze and partition the gut microbiome’s inheritance effects, as due to both genetic and environmental factors. Milt from six sires was mixed and crossed with eggs from various dams, and the offspring were reared in separate, replicated environments providing samples at the fertilized egg, alevin, and first-feeding stage. Extracted DNA from these samples as well as environmental and offspring samples were amplified via primers specific to the microbial community. These primers targeted the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene specific to bacteria. Using next generation sequencing, the microbiome of parental, environmental and offspring samples will be characterized. By identifying and analyzing operational taxonomic units (OTUs) the role of maternal effects in contributing to an offspring’s microbiome can be partitioned and microbial changes through development can be analyzed via core OTU changes.

Grand Challenges

Healthy Great Lakes

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Investigating the Maternal Vertical Transmission of the Microbiome in Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

The microbiome of an organism is vital to various life factors including its development, behaviour and physiology. It is defined as the microbial community present and living in, or on the organism and is especially important in aquatic fish species. Studies in fish and other animals have shown that the microbiome is driven by environmental and host factors. Initially, the offspring incorporates its own microbiome before birth and then this is supplemented by various maternal microbes via birth and breastfeeding. However, the establishment of the microbiome at birth and the effects due to maternal origin on it, remain poorly understood, especially in non-human species. In this project, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) are used to analyze and partition the gut microbiome’s inheritance effects, as due to both genetic and environmental factors. Milt from six sires was mixed and crossed with eggs from various dams, and the offspring were reared in separate, replicated environments providing samples at the fertilized egg, alevin, and first-feeding stage. Extracted DNA from these samples as well as environmental and offspring samples were amplified via primers specific to the microbial community. These primers targeted the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene specific to bacteria. Using next generation sequencing, the microbiome of parental, environmental and offspring samples will be characterized. By identifying and analyzing operational taxonomic units (OTUs) the role of maternal effects in contributing to an offspring’s microbiome can be partitioned and microbial changes through development can be analyzed via core OTU changes.