The Intestinal Microbiota of two Arid-adapted rodents

Osborne, Peter (2022) The Intestinal Microbiota of two Arid-adapted rodents. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[thumbnail of 2023OsbornePCWPhD.pdf]
Download (18MB) | Preview


The potential impact of aridity on host-associated microbiomes has been little investigated previously. This study describes the results of bioinformatic and culturing based analysis of a number of faecal samples from two arid-adapted rodent species, Acomys cahirinus and Acomys russatus; from individuals living sympatrically in the Judean Desert, Israel. 81 faecal samples were collected from two sampling points in June and November of 2016, some animals providing a sample on each occasion. These were sequenced and subjected to bioinformatic analysis to determine the taxonomic composition of the faecal microbiota. Metagenomic bins were generated from the reads obtained from the faecal samples and these were used with the faecal reads to determine if there were statistically significant differences between each host species microbiome and within each species between the two sampling months. These bins were also taxonomically identified and functionally annotated to assist with the development of genomic databases by addition of material from a novel host environment. Guided by bioinformatic analysis, targeted isolation of lactic acid bacteria from the Acomys faecal samples was carried out using selective media. From this, 28 distinct lactic acid bacteria isolates were obtained, sequenced and assembled. Putative taxonomic identities for these isolates were obtained, suggesting some are novel species of lactic acid bacteria. 8 of the isolates were also used for halotolerance testing to assess whether an observed host phenotype might also be detected in members of the microbiota. Growth of some isolates on media with 3.5% salinity (comparable to seawater) was observed. Statistically significant differences between the two host species were observed, with limited differences within hosts at each time point. Potentially beneficial functions for the hosts were identified in the faecal microbiome and detected in isolates cultured from faecal samples.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Kitty Laine
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2023 13:34
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2023 13:34


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item