Consequences of Domestication on Gut Microbiome: A Comparative Study Between Wild Gaur and Domestic Mithun.
ABSTRACT: Although the gut microbiome benefits the host in several ways, how anthropogenic forces impact the gut microbiome of mammals is not yet completely known. Recent studies have noted reduced gut microbiome diversity in captive mammals due to changes in diet and living environment. However, no studies have been carried out to understand how the gut microbiome of wild mammals responds to domestication. We analyzed the gut microbiome of wild and captive gaur and domestic mithun (domestic form of gaur) to understand whether the gut microbiome exhibits sequential changes from wild to captivity and after domestication. Both captive and domestic populations were characterized by reduced microbial diversity and abundance as compared to their wild counterparts. Notably, two beneficial bacterial families, Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae, which are known to play vital roles in herbivores' digestion, exhibited lower abundance in captive and domestic populations. Consequently, the predicted bacterial functional pathways especially related to metabolism and immune system showed lower abundance in captive and domestic populations compared to wild population. Therefore, we suggest that domestication can impact the gut microbiome more severely than captivity, which might lead to adverse effects on host health and fitness. However, further investigations are required across a wide range of domesticates in order to understand the general trend of microbiome shifts in domestic animals.
Project description:The primate gastrointestinal tract is home to trillions of bacteria, whose composition is associated with numerous metabolic, autoimmune, and infectious human diseases. Although there is increasing evidence that modern and Westernized societies are associated with dramatic loss of natural human gut microbiome diversity, the causes and consequences of such loss are challenging to study. Here we use nonhuman primates (NHPs) as a model system for studying the effects of emigration and lifestyle disruption on the human gut microbiome. Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing in two model NHP species, we show that although different primate species have distinctive signature microbiota in the wild, in captivity they lose their native microbes and become colonized with Prevotella and Bacteroides, the dominant genera in the modern human gut microbiome. We confirm that captive individuals from eight other NHP species in a different zoo show the same pattern of convergence, and that semicaptive primates housed in a sanctuary represent an intermediate microbiome state between wild and captive. Using deep shotgun sequencing, chemical dietary analysis, and chloroplast relative abundance, we show that decreasing dietary fiber and plant content are associated with the captive primate microbiome. Finally, in a meta-analysis including published human data, we show that captivity has a parallel effect on the NHP gut microbiome to that of Westernization in humans. These results demonstrate that captivity and lifestyle disruption cause primates to lose native microbiota and converge along an axis toward the modern human microbiome.
Project description:Captivity maybe the only choice for survival of many endangered vertebrates, and understanding its broad effects is important for animal management and conservation, including breeding endangered species for subsequent release. Extreme environmental changes during captivity may influence survival ability in the wild. Captivity decreases gut bacterial diversity in a wide range of animals. However, most studies directly compare animals living in captivity with those in the wild, and there is a lack of understanding of effects of gradient shift in lifestyle during species reintroduction based on the soft-release strategy, which involves a confinement period in a field enclosure. Here, we used 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to analyze gut microbiomes of 11 captive and 12 semi-wild Przewalski's horses (PH; Equus ferus przewalskii) under the same captivity environment, using fecal samples. A subset of samples with abundant extracted DNA (including 3 captive and 3 semi-wild individuals) was selected for whole-genome shotgun sequencing. We found that community diversity did not differ between the semi-wild PH and captive PH, but the semi-wild PH had significantly higher bacterial richness than those in captivity. Relative abundances of all dominant phyla were similar across the semi-wild or captive horses, while those of the non-dominant phyla Tenericutes and Proteobacteria were significantly higher in semi-wild PH than in captive PH. Beta diversity results indicated that bacterial communities of captives and semi-wild horses were clearly separated distinct when considering only composition. Functional profiling of the microbiomes revealed that the semi-wild and captive gut microbiomes were largely similar. However, semi-wild horse microbiomes had higher abundance of bacterial genes related to core metabolic processes, such as carbohydrates, amino acids, and nucleic acid metabolism. The study revealed that semi-wild PH could retain specific non-dominant bacteria and harbor a more diverse microbiome than the captive counterpart, and thus have higher metabolic potential to utilize the complex plants efficiently. These results indicate that change in host lifestyle may play a role in microbiome differentiation in the process of reintroduction, suggesting that a short period of time in captivity is acceptable for PH from the perspective of maintaining the richness of intestinal bacterial flora to some extent.
Project description:Père David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus or milu) is a highly endangered species originating from China, and many deer are currently being raised in captivity for gradual re-introduction to the wild. Wild and captive deer currently live in the same region but have vastly different diets. In this study, we used 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing to identify the healthy core microbiome in the gut of wild and captive Père David's deer and investigate how dietary factors influence the gut microbiome by comparing their differences. A core shared gut microbiome was identified in healthy Père David's deer, which was similar to that of other ruminants, mainly comprising the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. There were no differences in the richness or diversity of the gut microbiome between the wild and captive deer. However, PCA and ANOSIM demonstrated clear differences in the microbial community structure between the captive and wild deer, which mainly manifested as changes in the relative abundance of 39 bacterial genera. As the majority of these genera were not dominant in the deer gut, no significant difference was detected in functional modules related to the microbiome between the two groups. Therefore, the difference in dietary factors does not appear to affect the healthy core gut microbiome between captive and wild Père David's deer, suggesting strong co-evolution and the possibility of re-establishment in the wild. These data could guide future applications of population management in Père David's deer conservation.
Project description:A number of recent studies have shown the importance of the mammalian gut microbiome in host health. In the context of endangered species, a few studies have examined the relationship between the gut microbiome in wild versus captive populations due to digestive and other health issues. Unfortunately, the results seem to vary across taxa in terms of captive animals having higher, lower, or equivalent microbiome diversity relative to their wild counterparts. Here, we focus on the black rhinoceros as captive animals suffer from a number of potentially dietary related health effects. We compared gut microbiomes of wild and captive black rhinos to test for differences in taxonomic diversity (alpha and beta) and in functional diversity of the microbiome. We incorporated a more powerful metagenomic shotgun sequencing approach rather than a targeted amplification of the 16S gene for taxonomic assignment of the microbiome. Our results showed no significant differences in the alpha diversity levels between wild and captive black rhinos, but significant differences in beta diversity. We found that bacterial taxa traditionally associated with ruminant guts of domesticated animals had higher relative abundances in captive rhinos. Our metagenomic sequencing results suggest that unknown gut microbes of wild rhinos are being replaced by those found in conventional human-domesticated livestock. Wild rhinos have significantly different functional bacterial communities compared to their captive counterparts. Functional profiling results showed greater abundance of glycolysis and amino acid synthesis pathways in captive rhino microbiomes, representing an animal receiving sub-optimal nutrition with a readily available source of glucose but possibly an imbalance of necessary macro and micronutrients. Given the differences observed between wild and captive rhino gut microbiomes, we make a number of recommendations for potentially modifying captive gut microbiome to better reflect their wild counterparts and thereby hopefully improve overall rhino health in captivity.
Project description:Recent studies increasingly note the effect of captivity or the built environment on the microbiome of humans and other animals. As symbiotic microbes are essential to many aspects of biology (e.g., digestive and immune functions), it is important to understand how lifestyle differences can impact the microbiome, and, consequently, the health of hosts. Animals living in captivity experience a range of changes that may influence the gut bacteria, such as diet changes, treatments, and reduced contact with other individuals, species and variable environmental substrates that act as sources of bacterial diversity. Thus far, initial results from previous studies point to a pattern of decreased bacterial diversity in captive animals. However, these studies are relatively limited in the scope of species that have been examined. Here we present a dataset that includes paired wild and captive samples from mammalian taxa across six Orders to investigate generalizable patterns of the effects captivity on mammalian gut bacteria. In comparing the wild to the captive condition, our results indicate that alpha diversity of the gut bacteria remains consistent in some mammalian hosts (bovids, giraffes, anteaters, and aardvarks), declines in the captive condition in some hosts (canids, primates, and equids), and increases in the captive condition in one host taxon (rhinoceros). Differences in gut bacterial beta diversity between the captive and wild state were observed for most of the taxa surveyed, except the even-toed ungulates (bovids and giraffes). Additionally, beta diversity variation was also strongly influenced by host taxonomic group, diet type, and gut fermentation physiology. Bacterial taxa that demonstrated larger shifts in relative abundance between the captive and wild states included members of the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Overall, the patterns that we observe will inform a range of disciplines from veterinary practice to captive breeding efforts for biological conservation. Furthermore, bacterial taxa that persist in the captive state provide unique insight into symbiotic relationships with the host.
Project description:The rise in infections by antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses a serious public health problem worldwide. The gut microbiome of animals is a reservoir for antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). However, the correlation between the gut microbiome of wild animals and ARGs remains controversial. Here, based on the metagenomes of giant pandas (including three wild populations from the Qinling, Qionglai and Xiaoxiangling Mountains, and two major captive populations from Yaan and Chengdu), we investigated the potential correlation between the constitution of the gut microbiome and the composition of ARGs across the different geographic locations and living environments. We found that the types of ARGs were correlated with gut microbiome composition. The NMDS cluster analysis using Jaccard distance of the ARGs composition of the gut microbiome of wild giant pandas displayed a difference based on geographic location. Captivity also had an effect on the differences in ARGs composition. Furthermore, we found that the Qinling population exhibited profound dissimilarities of both gut microbiome composition and ARGs (the highest proportion of Clostridium and vancomycin resistance genes) when compared to the other wild and captive populations studies, which was supported by previous giant panda whole-genome sequencing analysis. In this study, we provide an example of a potential consensus pattern regarding host population genetics, symbiotic gut microbiome and ARGs. We revealed that habitat isolation impacts the ARG structure in the gut microbiome of mammals. Therefore, the difference in ARG composition between giant panda populations will provide some basic information for their conservation and management, especially for captive populations.
Project description:The mammal gut microbiome, which includes host microbes and their respective genes, is now recognized as an essential second genome that provides critical functions to the host. In humans, studies have revealed that lifestyle strongly influences the composition and diversity of the gastrointestinal microbiome. We hypothesized that these trends in humans may be paralleled in mammals subjected to anthropogenic forces such as domestication and captivity, in which diets and natural life histories are often greatly modified. We investigated fecal microbiomes of Przewalski's horse (PH; Equus ferus przewalskii), the only horses alive today not successfully domesticated by humans, and herded, domestic horse (E. f. caballus) living in adjacent natural grasslands. We discovered PH fecal microbiomes hosted a distinct and more diverse community of bacteria compared to domestic horses, which is likely partly explained by different plant diets as revealed by trnL maker data. Within the PH population, four individuals were born in captivity in European zoos and hosted a strikingly low diversity of fecal microbiota compared to individuals born in natural reserves in France and Mongolia. These results suggest that anthropogenic forces can dramatically reshape equid gastrointestinal microbiomes, which has broader implications for the conservation management of endangered mammals.
Project description:The Andean bear is an endemic species of the tropical Andes who has an almost exclusively plant-based diet. Since herbivorous mammals do not carry enzymes for fiber degradation, the establishment of symbiosis with cellulolytic microorganisms in their gastrointestinal (GI) tract is necessary to help them fulfill their nutritional needs. Furthermore, as described for other mammals, a stable, diverse, and balanced gut microbial composition is an indicator of a healthy status of the host; under disturbances this balance can be lost, leading to potential diseases of the host. The goal of this study was to describe the gut microbiota of wild and captive Andean bears and determine how habitat status influences the composition and diversity of the gut symbiotic community. Fecal samples from wild (n = 28) and captive (n = 8) Andean bears were collected in "Reserva Pantano de Martos" and "Fundación Bioandina", Colombia. Composition and diversity analyses were performed using amplicons from the V4 region of the 16S rDNA gene sequenced using the Ion PGM platform. PICRUSt algorithm was applied to predict the gene content of the gut microbiome of wild and captive Andean bears. A total of 5,411 and 838 OTUs were identified for wild and captive bears, respectively. Captive bears contained a lower number of bacterial phyla (n = 7) compared to wild individuals (n = 9). Proteobacteria (59.03%) and Firmicutes (14.03%) were the phyla that contributed the most to differences between wild and captive bears (overall dissimilarity = 87.72%). At family level, Enterobacteriaceae drove the main differences between the two groups (13.7%). PICRUSt metagenomics predictions suggested a similar pattern of relative abundance of gene families associated with the metabolism of carbohydrates across samples in wild individuals, despite the taxonomic differences of their gut microbiota. Captivity alters the availability and diversity of food resources, which likely reduces microbiota richness and diversity compared to wild individuals. Further considerations should be taken into account for nutritional schemes improving ex-situ conservation and its potential as a surveillance tool of endangered populations of wild Andean bears.
Project description:Metagenomic analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA has been used to profile microbial communities at high resolution, and to examine their association with host diet or diseases. We examined the oral and gut microbiome composition of two captive koalas to determine whether bacterial communities are unusual in this species, given that their diet consists almost exclusively of Eucalyptus leaves. Despite a highly specialized diet, koala oral and gut microbiomes were similar in composition to the microbiomes from the same body regions of other mammals. Rectal swabs contained all of the diversity present in faecal samples, along with additional taxa, suggesting that faecal bacterial communities may merely subsample the gut bacterial diversity. Furthermore, the faecal microbiomes of the captive koalas were similar to those reported for wild koalas, suggesting that captivity may not compromise koala microbial health. Since koalas frequently suffer from ocular diseases caused by Chlamydia infection, we also examined the eye microbiome composition of two captive koalas, establishing the healthy baseline for this body part. The eye microbial community was very diverse, similar to other mammalian ocular microbiomes but with an unusually high representation of bacteria from the family Phyllobacteriaceae.
Project description:Animals in captivity undergo a range of environmental changes from wild animals. An increasing number of studies show that captivity significantly affects the abundance and community structure of gut microbiota. The northern grass lizard (Takydromus septentrionalis) is an extensively studied lacertid lizard and has a distributional range covering the central and southeastern parts of China. Nonetheless, little is known about the gut microbiota of this species, which may play a certain role in nutrient and energy metabolism as well as immune homeostasis. Here, we examined the differences in the gut microbiota between two groups (wild and captive) of lizards through 16S rRNA sequencing using the Illumina HiSeq platform. The results demonstrated that the dominant microbial components in both groups consisted of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Tenericutes. The two groups did not differ in the abundance of these three phyla. Citrobacter was the most dominant genus in wild lizards, while Morganella was the most dominant genus in captive lizards. Moreover, gene function predictions showed that genes at the KEGG pathway levels2 were more abundant in wild lizards than in captive lizards but, at the KEGG pathway levels1, the differences in gene abundances between wild and captive lizards were not significant. In summary, captivity exerted a significant impact on the gut microbial community structure and diversity in T. septentrionalis, and future work could usefully investigate the causes of these changes using a comparative approach.