Animal Microbiome

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EISSN : 2524-4671
Total articles ≅ 104
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Latest articles in this journal

Published: 17 July 2021
Animal Microbiome, Volume 3; doi:10.1186/s42523-021-00111-6

The Rocky Mountainsnail (Oreohelix strigosa) is a terrestrial gastropod of ecological importance in the Rocky Mountains of western United States and Canada. Across the animal kingdom, including in gastropods, gut microbiomes have profound effects on the health of the host. Current knowledge regarding snail gut microbiomes, particularly throughout various life history stages, is limited. Understanding snail gut microbiome composition and dynamics can provide an initial step toward better conservation and management of this species. In this study, we employed 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to examine gut bacteria communities in wild-caught O. strigosa populations from the Front Range of Colorado. These included three treatment groups: (1) adult and (2) fetal snails, as well as (3) sub-populations of adult snails that were starved prior to ethanol fixation. Overall, O. strigosa harbors a high diversity of bacteria. We sequenced the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene on an Illumina MiSeq and obtained 2,714,330 total reads. We identified a total of 7056 unique operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to 36 phyla. The core gut microbiome of four unique OTUs accounts for roughly half of all sequencing reads returned and may aid the snails’ digestive processes. Significant differences in microbial composition, as well as richness, evenness, and Shannon Indices were found across the three treatment groups. Comparisons of gut microbiomes in O. strigosa adult, fetal, and starved samples provide evidence that the host internal environments influence bacterial community compositions, and that bacteria may be transmitted vertically from parent to offspring. This work provides the first comprehensive report on the structure and membership of bacterial populations in the gastropod family Oreohelicidae and reveals similarities and differences across varying life history metrics. Strong differentiation between these life history metrics demonstrates the need for wider sampling for studies of dynamics of the snail gut microbiome. The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s42523-021-00111-6.
Published: 8 July 2021
Animal Microbiome, Volume 3, pp 1-8; doi:10.1186/s42523-021-00109-0

Background Captive rearing is often critical for animals that are vulnerable to extinction in the wild. However, few studies have investigated the extent to which captivity impacts hosts and their gut microbiota, despite mounting evidence indicating that host health is affected by gut microbes. We assessed the influence of captivity on the gut microbiome of the Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli), a flightless bird endemic to New Zealand. We collected wild (n = 68) and captive (n = 38) kiwi feces at seven sites on the north island of New Zealand. Results Using bacterial 16 S rRNA and fungal ITS gene profiling, we found that captivity was a significant predictor of the kiwi gut bacterial and fungal communities. Captive samples had lower microbial diversity and different composition when compared to wild samples. History of coccidiosis, a gut parasite primarily affecting captive kiwi, showed a marginally significant effect. Conclusions Our findings demonstrate captivity’s potential to shape the Brown Kiwi gut microbiome, that warrant further investigation to elucidate the effects of these differences on health.
Published: 5 July 2021
Animal Microbiome, Volume 3, pp 1-16; doi:10.1186/s42523-021-00105-4

Background Host-associated microbiota are integral to the ecology of their host and may help wildlife species cope with rapid environmental change. Urbanization is a globally replicated form of severe environmental change which we can leverage to better understand wildlife microbiomes. Does the colonization of separate cities result in parallel changes in the intestinal microbiome of wildlife, and if so, does within-city habitat heterogeneity matter? Using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, we quantified the effect of urbanization (across three cities) on the microbiome of eastern grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis). Grey squirrels are ubiquitous in rural and urban environments throughout their native range, across which they display an apparent coat colour polymorphism (agouti, black, intermediate). Results Grey squirrel microbiomes differed between rural and city environments; however, comparable variation was explained by habitat heterogeneity within cities. Our analyses suggest that operational taxonomic unit (OTU) community structure was more strongly influenced by local environmental conditions (rural and city forests versus human built habitats) than urbanization of the broader landscape (city versus rural). The bacterial genera characterizing the microbiomes of built-environment squirrels are thought to specialize on host-derived products and have been linked in previous research to low fibre diets. However, despite an effect of urbanization at fine spatial scales, phylogenetic patterns in the microbiome were coat colour phenotype dependent. City and built-environment agouti squirrels displayed greater phylogenetic beta-dispersion than those in rural or forest environments, and null modelling results indicated that the phylogenetic structure of urban agouti squirrels did not differ greatly from stochastic expectations. Conclusions Squirrel microbiomes differed between city and rural environments, but differences of comparable magnitude were observed between land classes at a within-city scale. We did not observe strong evidence that inter-environmental differences were the result of disparate selective pressures. Rather, our results suggest that microbiota dispersal and ecological drift are integral to shaping the inter-environmental differences we observed. However, these processes were partly mediated by squirrel coat colour phenotype. Given a well-known urban cline in squirrel coat colour melanism, grey squirrels provide a useful free-living system with which to study how host genetics mediate environment x microbiome interactions.
David Pérez-Pascual, Ana Elena Pérez-Cobas, Dimitri Rigaudeau, Tatiana Rochat, Jean-François Bernardet, Sandrine Skiba-Cassy, Yann Marchand, ,
Published: 5 July 2021
Animal Microbiome, Volume 3, pp 1-13; doi:10.1186/s42523-021-00107-2

Background Farmed fish food with reduced fish-derived products are gaining growing interest due to the ecological impact of fish-derived protein utilization and the necessity to increase aquaculture sustainability. Although different terrestrial plant proteins could replace fishmeal proteins, their use is associated with adverse effects. Here, we investigated how diets composed of terrestrial vegetal sources supplemented with proteins originating from insect, yeast or terrestrial animal by-products affect rainbow trout (Onchorynchus mykiss) gut microbiota composition, growth performance and resistance to bacterial infection by the fish pathogen Flavobacterium psychrophilum responsible for frequent outbreaks in aquaculture settings. Results We showed that the tested regimes significantly increased gut bacterial richness compared to full vegetal or commercial-like diets, and that vegetal diet supplemented with insect and yeast proteins improves growth performance compared to full vegetal diet without altering rainbow trout susceptibility to F. psychrophilum infection. Conclusion Our results demonstrate that the use of insect and yeast protein complements to vegetal fish feeds maintain microbiota functions, growth performance and fish health, therefore identifying promising alternative diets to improve aquaculture’s sustainability.
Jie Xu, Rongying Xu, Menglan Jia, , Weiyun Zhu
Published: 3 July 2021
Animal Microbiome, Volume 3; doi:10.1186/s42523-021-00108-1

Background Dietary fibers are widely considered to be beneficial to health as they produce nutrients through gut microbial fermentation while facilitating weight management and boosting gut health. To date, the gene expression profiles of the carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) that respond to different types of fibers (raw potato starch, RPS; inulin, INU; pectin, PEC) in the gut microbes of pigs are not well understood. Therefore, we investigated the functional response of colonic microbiota to different dietary fibers in pigs through metatranscriptomic analysis. Results The results showed that the microbial composition and CAZyme structure of the three experimental groups changed significantly compared with the control group (CON). Based on a comparative analysis with the control diet, RPS increased the abundance of Parabacteroides, Ruminococcus, Faecalibacterium and Alloprevotella but decreased Sutterella; INU increased the relative abundance of Fusobacterium and Rhodococcus but decreased Bacillus; and PEC increased the relative abundance of the Streptococcus and Bacteroidetes groups but decreased Clostridium, Clostridioides, Intestinibacter, Gemmiger, Muribaculum and Vibrio. The gene expression of CAZymes GH8, GH14, GH24, GH38, GT14, GT31, GT77 and GT91 downregulated but that of GH77, GH97, GT3, GT10 and GT27 upregulated in the RPS diet group; the gene expression of AA4, AA7, GH14, GH15, GH24, GH26, GH27, GH38, GH101, GT26, GT27 and GT38 downregulated in the INU group; and the gene expression of PL4, AA1, GT32, GH18, GH37, GH101 and GH112 downregulated but that of CE14, AA3, AA12, GH5, GH102 and GH103 upregulated in the PEC group. Compared with the RPS and INU groups, the composition of colonic microbiota in the PEC group exhibited more diverse changes with the variation of CAZymes and Streptococcus as the main contributor to CBM61, which greatly promoted the digestion of pectin. Conclusion The results of this exploratory study provided a comprehensive overview of the effects of different fibers on nutrient digestibility, gut microbiota and CAZymes in pig colon, which will furnish new insights into the impacts of the use of dietary fibers on animal and human health.
Hui-Zeng Sun, Ke-Lan Peng, Ming-Yuan Xue,
Published: 1 July 2021
Animal Microbiome, Volume 3; doi:10.1186/s42523-021-00103-6

Background Antimicrobial resistance poses super challenges in both human health and livestock production. Rumen microbiota is a large reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), which show significant varations in different host species and lifestyles. To compare the microbiome and resistome between dairy cows and dairy buffaloes, the microbial composition, functions and harbored ARGs of rumen microbiota were explored between 16 dairy cows (3.93 ± 1.34 years old) and 15 dairy buffaloes (4.80 ± 3.49 years old) using metagenomics. Results Dairy buffaloes showed significantly different bacterial species (LDA > 3.5 & P < 0.01), enriched KEGG pathways and CAZymes encoded genes (FDR < 0.01 & Fold Change > 2) in the rumen compared with dairy cows. Distinct resistive profiles were identified between dairy cows and dairy buffaloes. Among the total 505 ARGs discovered in the resistome of dairy cows and dairy buffaloes, 18 ARGs conferring resistance to 16 antibiotic classes were uniquely detected in dairy buffaloes. Gene tcmA (resistance to tetracenomycin C) presented high prevalence and age effect in dairy buffaloes, and was also highly positively correlated with 93 co-expressed ARGs in the rumen (R = 0.98 & P = 5E-11). In addition, 44 bacterial species under Lactobacillus genus were found to be associated with tcmA (R > 0.95 & P < 0.001). L. amylovorus and L. acidophilus showed greatest potential of harboring tcmA based on co-occurrence analysis and tcmA-containing contigs taxonomic alignment. Conclusions The current study revealed distinctive microbiome and unique ARGs in dairy buffaloes compared to dairy cattle. Our results provide novel understanding on the microbiome and resistome of dairy buffaloes, the unique ARGs and associated bacteria will help develop strategies to prevent the transmission of ARGs.
Published: 16 June 2021
Animal Microbiome, Volume 3, pp 1-13; doi:10.1186/s42523-021-00104-5

Background Beneficial microbes can be vertically transmitted from mother to offspring in many organisms. In oviparous animals, bacterial transfer to eggs may improve egg success by inhibiting fungal attachment and infection from pathogenic microbes in the nest environment. Vertical transfer of these egg-protective bacteria may be facilitated through behavioral mechanisms such as egg-tending, but many species do not provide parental care. Thus, an important mechanism of vertical transfer may be the passage of the egg through the maternal cloaca during oviposition itself. In this study, we examined how oviposition affects eggshell microbial communities, fungal attachment, hatch success, and offspring phenotype in the striped plateau lizard, Sceloporus virgatus, a species with no post-oviposition parental care. Results Relative to dissected eggs that did not pass through the cloaca, oviposited eggs had more bacteria and fewer fungal hyphae when examined with a scanning electron microscope. Using high throughput Illumina sequencing, we also found a difference in the bacterial communities of eggshells that did and did not pass through the cloaca, and the diversity of eggshell communities tended to correlate with maternal cloacal diversity only for oviposited eggs, and not for dissected eggs, indicating that vertical transmission of microbes is occurring. Further, we found that oviposited eggs had greater hatch success and led to larger offspring than those that were dissected. Conclusions Overall, our results indicate that female S. virgatus lizards transfer beneficial microbes from their cloaca onto their eggs during oviposition, and that these microbes reduce fungal colonization and infection of eggs during incubation and increase female fitness. Cloacal transfer of egg-protective bacteria may be common among oviparous species, and may be especially advantageous to species that lack parental care.
, Amy Pepper, Rachel Pilla, Andrew P. Woodward, Jan S. Suchodolski,
Published: 11 June 2021
Animal Microbiome, Volume 3, pp 1-12; doi:10.1186/s42523-021-00101-8

Background Dietary content and environmental factors can shape the gut microbiota, and consequently, the way the gut microbiota metabolizes fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, affecting overall health of the host. We evaluated the impact of 3 diets (all meat [raw], high-insoluble fiber dry extruded diet and hydrolyzed protein dry extruded diet) on the gut microbiota of healthy dogs in a cross-over sequential study. Results We showed that diet can have an effect on the gut microbiome in dogs, which was influenced by the order of feeding. High-protein (all meat) diets were characterized by an increase in bacteria belonging to the Fusobacteria and Bacteroidetes phyla, whereas a high-insoluble fiber commercial diet correlated with increases in Firmicutes and Actinobacteria phyla. However, the individual dog’s baseline microbiota had the most impact on the magnitude and nature of the changes in response to dietary intervention. Conclusion Our results suggest that the dog fecal microbiota is driven by protein and fiber composition to different degrees in individual animals, and targeted modification of these patterns could be useful in the modulation of the gut microbiota in different diseases.
Chian Teng Ong, Conny Turni, Patrick J. Blackall, Gry Boe-Hansen, Ben J. Hayes,
Published: 9 June 2021
Animal Microbiome, Volume 3, pp 1-12; doi:10.1186/s42523-021-00106-3

Undesirable microbial infiltration into the female bovine reproductive tracts, for example during calving or mating, is likely to disturb the commensal microflora. Persistent establishment and overgrowth of certain pathogens induce reproductive diseases, render the female bovine reproductive tract unfavourable for pregnancy or can result in transmission to the foetus, leading to death and abortion or birth abnormalities. This review of culture-independent metagenomics studies revealed that normal microflora in the female bovine reproductive tract is reasonably consistently dominated by bacteria from the phyla Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, following by Actinobacteria, Fusobacteria and Tenericutes. Reproductive disease development in the female bovine reproductive tract was demonstrated across multiple studies to be associated with high relative abundances of bacteria from the phyla Bacteroidetes and Fusobacteria. Reduced bacterial diversity in the reproductive tract microbiome in some studies of cows diagnosed with reproductive diseases also indicated an association between dysbiosis and bovine reproductive health. Nonetheless, the bovine genital tract microbiome remains underexplored, and this is especially true for the male genital tract. Future research should focus on the functional aspects of the bovine reproductive tract microbiomes, for example their contributions to cattle fertility and susceptibility towards reproductive diseases.
Patrícia M. Oba, Meredith Q. Carroll, Celeste Alexander, Helen Valentine, Amy J. Somrak, Stephanie C. J. Keating, Adrianna M. Sage,
Published: 3 June 2021
Animal Microbiome, Volume 3, pp 1-2; doi:10.1186/s42523-021-00102-7

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