Daily feeding rhythm linked to microbiome composition in two zooplankton species

Alaina Pfenning-Butterwort, Reilly O. Cooper, Clayton E. Cressler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Host-associated microbial communities are impacted by external and within-host factors, i.e., diet and feeding behavior. For organisms known to have a circadian rhythm in feeding behavior, microbiome composition is likely impacted by the different rates of microbe introduction and removal across a daily cycle, in addition to any diet-induced changes in microbial interactions. Here, we measured feeding behavior and used 16S rRNA sequencing to compare the microbial community across a diel cycle in two distantly related species of Daphnia, that differ in their life history traits, to assess how daily feeding patterns impact microbiome composition. We find that Daphnia species reared under similar laboratory conditions have significantly different microbial communities. Additionally, we reveal that Daphnia have daily differences in their microbial composition that correspond with feeding behavior, such that there is greater microbiome diversity at night during the host's active feeding phase. These results highlight that zooplankton microbiomes are relatively distinct and are likely influenced by host phylogeny.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0263538
JournalPloS one
Issue number2 February
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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