Background: Experimental evolution has a long history of uncovering fundamental insights into evolutionary processes, but has largely neglected one underappreciated component--the microbiome. As eukaryotic hosts evolve, the microbiome may also respond to selection. However, the microbial contribution to host evolution remains poorly understood. Here, we re-analyzed genomic data to characterize the metagenomes from ten Evolve and Resequence (E&R) experiments in Drosophila melanogaster to determine how the microbiome changed in response to host selection. Results: Bacterial diversity was significantly different in 5/10 studies, primarily in traits associated with metabolism or immunity. Duration of selection did not significantly influence bacterial diversity, highlighting the importance of associations with specific host traits. Conclusions: Our genomic re-analysis suggests the microbiome often responds to host selection; thus, the microbiome may contribute to the response of Drosophila in E&R experiments. We outline important considerations for incorporating the microbiome into E&R experiments. The E&R approach may provide critical insights into host-microbiome interactions and fundamental insight into the genomic basis of adaptation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)
- Drosophila melanogaster
- Experimental evolution