Research ArticleMICROBIOLOGY

Coadaptation between host genome and microbiome under long-term xenobiotic-induced selection

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Science Advances  05 May 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 19, eabd4473
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd4473


One of the most difficult experimental challenges today is testing the evolutionary dynamics shaping complex host-microbiome interactions. We investigated host-microbiome codiversification in response to xenobiotic-induced selection using an experimental evolution approach. To this end, we exposed the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis to sublethal concentrations of the widely used herbicide atrazine for 85 generations. Our results reveal that atrazine exposure not only mediated adaptive changes within the microbiome, which conferred host resistance to atrazine toxicity, but also exerted selective pressure on the host genome and altered host gene expression and immune response. Furthermore, microbiome transplant experiments reveal a decreased survival of adults from the control population after exposure to the evolved microbiome of the atrazine-exposed population, while no such decrease occurred in the reciprocal transplant. These results indicate that xenobiotic-induced selection mediated host-microbiome coadaptation, ultimately leading to a new host genome–microbiome equilibrium.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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