Diversity and metabolic potential of the microbiota associated with a soil arthropod
Springtails are important members of the soil fauna and play a key role in plant litter decomposition, for example through stimulation of the microbial activity. However, their interaction with soil microorganisms remains poorly understood and it is unclear which microorganisms are associated to the springtail (endo) microbiota. Therefore, we assessed the structure of the microbiota of the springtail Orchesella cincta (L.) using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Individuals were sampled across sites in the field and the microbiota and in particular the endomicrobiota were investigated. The microbiota was dominated by the families of Rickettsiaceae, Enterobacteriaceae and Comamonadaceae and at the genus level the most abundant genera included Rickettsia, Chryseobacterium, Pseudomonas, and Stenotrophomonas. Microbial communities were distinct for the interior of the springtails for measures of community diversity and exhibited structure according to collection sites. Functional analysis of the springtail bacterial community suggests that abundant members of the microbiota may be associated with metabolism including decomposition processes. Together these results add to the understanding of the microbiota of springtails and interaction with soil microorganisms including their putative functional roles.