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Exploring the use of metabarcoding to reveal eukaryotic associations with mononchids nematodes



Nematodes play a vital ecological role in soil and marine ecosystems, but there is limited information about their dietary diversity and feeding habits. Due to methodological challenges, the available information is based on inference rather than confirmed observations. The lack of correct dietary requirements also hampers rearing experiments. To achieve insight into the prey of mononchid nematodes, this study employed high-throughput Illumina paired-end sequencing using universal eukaryotic species 18S primers on 10 pooled mononchid nematode species, namely Mylonchulus brachyuris, M. brevicaudatus, Mylonchulus sp., Clarkus parvus, Prionchulus sp. M. hawaiiensis, M. sigmaturellus, M. vulvapapillatus, Anatonchus sp. and Miconchus sp. The results indicate that mononchids are associated with a remarkable diversity of eukaryotes, including fungi, algae, and protists. While the metabarcoding approach, first introduced here for mononchids, proved to be a simple and rapid method, it has several limitations and crucial methodological challenges that should be addressed in future studies. Ultimately, such methods should be able to evaluate the dietary complexity of nematodes and provide a valuable avenue for unraveling the dietary requirements of previously unculturable nematodes. This can contribute to the methodology of understanding their feeding habits and contributions to ecosystem dynamics.

Frequenza di pubblicazione:
Volume Open
Argomenti della rivista:
Life Sciences, other