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      Bacterial diversity in the waterholes of the Kruger National Park: an eDNA metabarcoding approach 1.

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          Abstract

          Bacteria are essential components of natural environments. They contribute to ecosystem functioning through roles as mutualists and pathogens for larger species, and as key components of food webs and nutrient cycles. Bacterial communities respond to environmental disturbances, and the tracking of these communities across space and time may serve as indicators of ecosystem health in areas of conservation concern. Recent advances in DNA sequencing of environmental samples allow for rapid and culture-free characterization of bacterial communities. Here we conduct the first metabarcoding survey of bacterial diversity in the waterholes of the Kruger National Park, South Africa. We show that eDNA can be amplified from waterholes and find strongly structured microbial communities, likely reflecting local abiotic conditions, animal ecology, and anthropogenic disturbance. Over timescales from days to weeks we find increased turnover in community composition, indicating bacteria may represent host-associated taxa of large vertebrates visiting the waterholes. Through taxonomic annotation we also identify pathogenic taxa, demonstrating the utility of eDNA metabarcoding for surveillance of infectious diseases. These samples serve as a baseline survey of bacterial diversity in the Kruger National Park, and in the future, spatially distinct microbial communities may be used as markers of ecosystem disturbance, or biotic homogenization across the park.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Genome
          Genome
          Canadian Science Publishing
          1480-3321
          0831-2796
          Mar 2019
          : 62
          : 3
          Affiliations
          [1 ] a Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Avenue Docteur Penfield, Montréal, QC H3A 0G4, Québec, Canada.
          [2 ] b Scientific Services, Kruger National Park, SANParks, Private Bag X402, Skukuza, 1350, South Africa.
          [3 ] c Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110, South Africa.
          [4 ] d Integrative Biology & Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
          [5 ] e African Centre for DNA Barcoding, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park, 2006, Johannesburg, South Africa.
          [6 ] f Botany, Forest & Conservation Sciences, University of British Columbia, 6270 University Blvd., Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
          Article
          10.1139/gen-2018-0064
          30495980
          2a741370-f32c-4452-a26b-33dcf5e5493e
          History

          16S,biomonitoring,biosurveillance,conservation,microbiome,points d’eau,watering holes

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