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Data from "Characterizing the cirri and gut microbiomes of the intertidal barnacle Semibalanus balanoides"


Natural populations inhabiting the rocky intertidal experience multiple ecological stressors and provide an opportunity to investigate how environmental differences influence microbiomes over small geographical scales. In this study, we capitalize on the biology of the intertidal barnacle Semibalanus balanoides to investigate whether high environmental variability modifies the species’ microbiome composition. We describe the microbiome of two body parts: the feeding appendages (i.e., the cirri) and the gut. In addition, we examine whether there are differences between thermally extreme intertidal microhabitats in upper and lower tidal zones of the rocky shore. Overall, the microbiome of S. balanoides consisted of 18 phyla from 408 genera. Our results showed that although cirri and gut microbiomes shared a portion of their amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), the microbiome of each body part was distinct. Over 80% of the ASVs found in the cirri were also found in the gut, and 44% of the ASVs found in the gut were also found in the cirri. Notably, the gut microbiome was not a subset of the cirri microbiome. Additionally, we identified that both cirri and gut microbiomes were responsive to microhabitat differences with the cirri being more responsive than the gut, but differences in microhabitat explain only a small amount of variation in microbiome diversity. Results from this study indicate that S. balanoides maintains distinct microbiomes in its cirri and gut tissues, and that the gut microbiome is more stable than the cirri microbiome across intertidal extremes of the intertidal.
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship program and National Institutes of Health under award R01GM067862.

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Brown, Bianca, "Data from 'Characterizing the cirri and gut microbiomes of the intertidal barnacle Semibalanus balanoides'" (2020). Brown University Open Data Collection. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



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