For a study, researchers demonstrated the impact of host diet on gut microbial membership, metagenomics, and fermentation on their own. However, few attempted to understand the link between these biological phenomena and host characteristics (e.g., gut morphology). The researchers evaluated the nutritional intake of frugivorous (fruit-eating) and folivorous (leaf-eating) lemurs in terms of fecal microbial populations, metabolic pathways, and fermentation products. The researches offered a unique multi-dimensional and comparative viewpoint on the host-microbiome adaptation dynamics. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing revealed significant differences in taxonomic and metabolic pathway enrichment, indicating that various diets require distinct digestion and detoxification strategies. In an anaerobic environment, frugivorous metagenomes had pathways to break down simple carbohydrates and host-derived glycosaminoglycans. In contrast, folivorous metagenomes had ways to break down phytic acid and other phytochemical substances. The researchers linked metabolic pathways to fermentation products using nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolic profiling of fecal samples, indicating that the diverse substrates offered in each diet select for unique microbial activity. When comparable to folivorous lemurs, feces from frugivorous lemurs have considerably different compositions of short-chain fatty acids, alcohol fermentation products, amino acids, glucose, and glycerol. The researchers used microbiological geometry to depict the links between these datasets as an integrated visual framework. The researchers used microbial geometry to compare empirical gut microbial profiles across different feeding techniques, and the researchers propose that it could also be used to generate hypotheses.

 

Link:www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19490976.2017.1408762