While the impact of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) on earthworms has been studied, little is known about their effects on the earthworm gut microbiome. This study investigated the impact of a GBH on the gut microbial communities of three earthworm species (Alma millsoni, Eudrilus eugeniae and Libyodrilus violaceus). Earthworm species accommodated in soil were sprayed with 115.49 mL/m² of Roundup® Alphée or water. Gut microbiome composition was analysed using 16S rRNA Bacterial Tag–Encoded FLX Amplicon Pyrosequencing (bTEFAP) at the 8th week post-herbicide application. A profound shift in bacterial populationswas observed in all exposed earthworms with Proteobacteria becoming the dominant phylum. Affected bacteria were mostly from the genus Enterobacter, Pantoea and Pseudomonas, which together represented approximately 80 % of the total abundance assigned at the genus level in exposed earthworms, while they were present at a minor abundance (∼1%) in unexposed earthworms. Although consistent results were observed between the three groups of worm species, it is not possible to generalize these outcomes due to a lack of biological replicates, which does not allow for inferential statistical analysis. Nevertheless, our study is the first to report the effects of a GBH on the earthworm gut microbiome and paves the way for future more comprehensive investigations.
- 16S rRNA sequencing
- Soil contamination