Latrodectus hesperus black widow microbiome

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There is a massive loss of arthropod biodiversity across the world, due to urban development and anthropogenic stresses. The microbiome is essential for the physiology and survival of spiders, and it is probable that urbanization has an impact on the diversity of this internal microbiome.

We are interested in the variation of the diversity, and the structure of the microbial communities (bacteria and eukaryotes) of the black widows of the west (Lactrodectus hesperus), as well as their webs, according to their type of habitat (desert vs urban) in Arizona. This study will therefore allow us to understand the effect of urbanization on the ecology of the microbiome community in black widows.

Project led by Laura Zeppetelli-Bédard (undergraduate alumni)

Collaboration: Prof. Pierre-Olivier Montiglio (UQAM)