The bacterial community of the tardigrade Milnesium tardigradum and the effects of antibiotic treatment
Nowadays only little is known about the interaction of tardigrades and their bacteria. Neither the species composition nor the influence of the bacteria onto their hosts have been in focus of researchers. Nevertheless, the high tolerance of tardigrades against environmental stress might be reflected in specialized microbes. Therefore the bacterial community of the tardigrade Milnesium tardigradum from an in-house culture has been investigated. The application of different antibiotic treatment strategies enabled us to alter the microbial distribution. The exact species composition was deciphered by 16S rDNA amplification and sequencing. Using this approach we have established a method to determine the microbiome of tardigrades. Moreover we have been able to identify potential symbiont and food source species in M. tardigradum.