17 Oct 2019

Seminar Title: Gut microbiota drives zooplankton tolerance to poor nutrient quality prey and anthropogenetic pollutants

Speaker: Mr LI Yingdong (Supervisor: Prof. LIU Hongbin)

Date: 17 October, 2019 (Thursday)
Time: 5:00 pm – 5:50 pm
Venue: Room 4502 (lift no. 25-26), HKUST

The gut microbiota impacts many aspects of its host’s biology and is increasingly considered as a critical factor mediating the performance of host individuals in continuously changing environments. Here, we investigated the interactions between gut microbiota and zooplankton with exposure of antibacterial silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and feeding of poor nutrient quality prey, separately, through bioimaging, metatranscriptomic and gut microbiota translational techniques. Under the exposure of AgNPs, the toxic symptoms of zooplankton were revealed to be mediated by gut microbiota at low concentrations of AgNPs, and the level of toxicity was influenced by the exposure time. At high AgNPs concentrations, the mortality of zooplankton was due to the combined effects of extinct gut microbiota and the accumulated toxicity. These perturbations were relieved possibly through microbial sulfidation of Ag+, and via the aggregation of nanoparticles and possibly the recovered synthesis of short-chain fatty acids (SFAs). With feeding of low-quality prey, the microbiota within the gut of zooplankton was found to accumulate more poly-phosphates (polyp), as nutrient was enriched in the gut of zooplankton when comparing with the oligotrophic surrounding water. Interestingly, although microbial polyp was accumulated within zooplankton gut and excreted out through fecal pellets attachment, the growth of zooplankton can still benefit from the existence of gut microbiota, which may be possibly achieved through gut microbiota based food digestion and nutrient absorption of zooplankton. Overall, our findings provide fundamental knowledge about the interactions between microbiota and zooplankton under diverse environmental conditions.

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