Preprint Article Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Using Fish Models for Assessing the Role of Sociality on the Microbiome: The Next Step for Translational Microbiome Research?

Version 1 : Received: 17 September 2018 / Approved: 19 September 2018 / Online: 19 September 2018 (14:46:57 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 18 February 2019 / Approved: 18 February 2019 / Online: 18 February 2019 (15:43:41 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


Recent research has revealed surprisingly important connections between animals’ microbiome and social behaviour. Social interactions can affect the composition and function of the microbiome; conversely, the microbiome affects social communication by influencing the hosts’ central nervous system and peripheral chemical communication. These discoveries set the stage for novel research venues focusing on the evolution and physiology of animal social behaviour in relation to microbial transmission strategies. Here, we discuss the emerging roles of teleost fish model candidates and their key potential for advancing research fields linked to sociality and microbial regulation. We argue that fish models, such as the zebrafish, sticklebacks, guppies and cleaner-client dyads, will provide valuable insights into the roles of microbiome in shaping social behaviour and vice versa, while also being of direct relevance to the food and ornamental fish trades.


behaviour/sociality; cleaner fish; gut-brain axis; poecilids; sticklebacks; zebrafish


Biology and Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science and Zoology

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