Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Each animal species hosts a unique microbial community

Each animal species hosts its own, unique community of microbes that can significantly improve its health and fitness. This is the implication of a laboratory study that investigated four different animal groups and their associated microbiota. The research found that each species within the group has a distinctive microbial community.

Experiments with two of the groups -- one mammal and one insect -- demonstrated that individuals possessing their natural microbiota digested food more efficiently and had greater survival than those that were implanted with the microbial communities of closely related species.

For details see:

Andrew W. Brooks, Kevin D. Kohl, Robert M. Brucker, Edward J. van Opstal, Seth R. Bordenstein. Phylosymbiosis: Relationships and Functional Effects of Microbial Communities across Host Evolutionary History. PLOS Biology, 2016; 14 (11): e2000225 DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.2000225

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle