To better understand the evolutionary significance of symbiotic interactions in nature, microbiome studies can help to identify the ecological factors that may shape host-associated microbial communities. In this study we explored both 16S and 18S rRNA microbial communities of D. armigerum from both wild caught individuals collected in the Amazon and individuals kept in the laboratory and fed on controlled diets. We also investigated the role of colony, sample type, development and caste on structuring microbial communities. Our bacterial results (16S rRNA) reveal that (1) there are colony level differences between bacterial communities; (2) castes do not structure communities; (3) immature stages (brood) have different bacterial communities than adults; and 4) individuals kept in the laboratory with a restricted diet showed no differences in their bacterial communities from their wild caught nest mates, which could indicate the presence of a stable and persistent resident bacterial community in this host species. The same categories were also tested for microbial eukaryote communities (18S rRNA), and (5) developmental stage has an influence on the diversity recovered; (6) the diversity of taxa recovered has shown this can be an important tool to understand additional aspects of host biology and species interactions.
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