Metabolic Adaptations in the Gut Microbiome of Invasive Marine Fish Species

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Dr. Jayaprakash Ronanki


The invasion of non-native marine species poses a significant ecological challenge, altering biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Among these invaders, the herbivorous fishes Siganus rivulatus and Siganus luridus have successfully transitioned from their native Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, prompting a closer examination of their adaptive mechanisms. This study focuses on the metabolic adaptations within the gut microbiome of these invasive species, highlighting the role of microbial communities in facilitating ecological success in new environments. Through comparative analysis of gut microbiomes between native and invaded ranges, we observed a marked increase in taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity, alongside a homogenization of microbial communities across both species in the Mediterranean. Notably, this shift was accompanied by alterations in metabolic functions, particularly those related to the metabolism of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are crucial for energy absorption and may contribute to the invasive prowess of these fishes. Our findings underscore the dynamic interaction between diet, microbiome, and ecological adaptability, suggesting that the gut microbiome's flexibility to environmental changes is a key factor in the successful invasion of Siganus species. This study not only sheds light on the microbial underpinnings of invasion success but also underscores the importance of considering microbial communities in the management and study of invasive species [1].

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