Insights into the Natural Defenses of a Coral Reef Fish Against Gill Ectoparasites: Integrated Metabolome and Microbiome Approach

We have previously identified a butterflyfish species that avoids gill monogenean parasites while living amongst closely related parasitized species

Miriam Reverter; Pierre Sasal; Marcelino T. Suzuki; Delphine Raviglione; Nicolas Inguimbert; Alan Pare; Bernard Banaigs; S├ębastien N. Voisin; Philippe Bulet; Nathalie Tapissier-Bontemps


Scholarcy highlights

  • Parasites are crucial for a well-balanced ecosystem, contributing to its organization by modifying competitive and trophic interactions and driving natural selection
  • We found that only one butterflyfish species out of 34 species studied through the Indo-Pacific, was never parasitized by gill monogeneans
  • We did not perform further identification, and correlation with bacterial operational taxonomic units were based on the analysis of the polar fraction
  • C. lunulatus is the only butterflyfish species that has never we have investigated the natural interplay between the gill mucus metabolome and microbiome been found parasitized by gill monogeneans, despite living among parasitized butterflyfishes with of Chaetodon potential mechanisms involved parasite avoidance
  • Increased expression of Hb under low-oxygen levels has been observed in organisms such as fish, plants, or humans. These results suggest that C. lunulatus gill mucus might have lower-oxygen contents and possibly higher levels of hemoglobin than in other butterflyfish species, but this is a non-trivial analysis that will have to be developed in further studies
  • The Actinomycetales and were the only bacterial orders that presented a significantly higher mean relative abundance in Pseudomonadales were the only bacterial orders that presented a significantly higher mean relative the susceptible fish
  • We identified specific bacterial families and OTUs typical from low-oxygen habitats in C. lunulatus gill mucus and found a Fusobacteriaceae strain exclusively present in C. lunulatus and highly correlated to the three identified peptides
  • Supplementary Materials: The following are available online at, Figure S1: Principal coordinate analysis obtained analysis of gill mucus metabolome of parasitized and nonparasitized butterflyfish

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