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Title: Effects of captivity, diet, and relocation on the gut bacterial communities of white-footed mice
Authors: Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht I.
Leeuwen, Pauline van
Mykytczuk, Nadia
Mastromonaco, Gabriela F.
Keywords: 16S rRNA gene;captivity;conservation biology;diet;gut microbiota;reintroduction;wild mice
Issue Date: 6-Mar-2020
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Citation: van Leeuwen P, Mykytczuk N, Mastromonaco GF, Schulte-Hostedde AI. Effects of captivity, diet, and relocation on the gut bacterial communities of white-footed mice. Ecol Evol. 2020;10:4677–4690.
Abstract: Microbes can have important impacts on their host's survival. Captive breeding programs for endangered species include periods of captivity that can ultimately have an impact on reintroduction success. No study to date has investigated the impacts of captive diet on the gut microbiota during the relocation process of generalist species. This study simulated a captive breeding program with white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) to describe the variability in gut microbial community structure and composition during captivity and relocation in their natural habitat, and compared it to wild individuals. Mice born in captivity were fed two different diets, a control with dry standardized pellets and a treatment with nonprocessed components that re- flect a version of their wild diet that could be provided in captivity. The mice from the two groups were then relocated to their natural habitat. Relocated mice that had the treatment diet had more phylotypes in common with the wild-host micro-biota than mice under the control diet or mice kept in captivity. These results have broad implications for our understanding of microbial community dynamics and the effects of captivity on reintroduced animals, including the potential impact on the survival of endangered species. This study demonstrates that ex situ conservation actions should consider a more holistic perspective of an animal's biology including its microbes.
Appears in Collections:Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht

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