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New paper in Environmental Microbiology!

Bartłomiej Surmacz and others published a new paper in Environmental Microbiology. The new paper shows that tardigrades, or at least the species from lab cultures examined, contain a surprisingly small amount of symbiotic bacteria. This finding is particularly interesting, as previous studies suggest a significant role for putative symbionts in the lives of these remarkably resilient creatures. The results also underscore the importance of re-analysing data from previous studies and suggest directions for proper experimental designs in future research on tardigrade microbiota.


Graphical abstract: Bartłomiej Surmacz et al. 2024. "The study examined the microbiota of cultured tardigrades and found that most microbial profiles are dominated by bacteria originating from food, medium, or reagents. Re-analysing previous studies revealed similar contamination issues. This highlights and emphasises the challenges faced in researching the microbiota of microinvertebrates."

Graphical abstract: Bartłomiej Surmacz et al. 2024. "The study examined the microbiota of cultured tardigrades and found that most microbial profiles are dominated by bacteria originating from food, medium, or reagents. Re-analysing previous studies revealed similar contamination issues. This highlights and emphasises the challenges faced in researching the microbiota of microinvertebrates."

 

The study explicitly indicates that due to the low biomass of samples, research on the interactions between tardigrades and bacteria is very challenging. However, numerous questions regarding this issue remain unanswered and await future investigation.

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