Microbiomes of an oyster are shaped by metabolism and environment

Sci Rep. 2021 Oct 26;11(1):21112. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-00590-2.


Microbiomes can both influence and be influenced by metabolism, but this relationship remains unexplored for invertebrates. We examined the relationship between microbiome and metabolism in response to climate change using oysters as a model marine invertebrate. Oysters form economies and ecosystems across the globe, yet are vulnerable to climate change. Nine genetic lineages of the oyster Saccostrea glomerata were exposed to ambient and elevated temperature and PCO2 treatments. The metabolic rate (MR) and metabolic by-products of extracellular pH and CO2 were measured. The oyster-associated bacterial community in haemolymph was characterised using 16 s rRNA gene sequencing. We found a significant negative relationship between MR and bacterial richness. Bacterial community composition was also significantly influenced by MR, extracellular CO2 and extracellular pH. The effects of extracellular CO2 depended on genotype, and the effects of extracellular pH depended on CO2 and temperature treatments. Changes in MR aligned with a shift in the relative abundance of 152 Amplicon Sequencing Variants (ASVs), with 113 negatively correlated with MR. Some spirochaete ASVs showed positive relationships with MR. We have identified a clear relationship between host metabolism and the microbiome in oysters. Altering this relationship will likely have consequences for the 12 billion USD oyster economy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Hemolymph / microbiology*
  • Microbiota*
  • Ostreidae / metabolism*
  • Ostreidae / microbiology*
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics


  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S