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Fermentation Ability of Gut Microbiota of Wild Japanese Macaques in the Highland and Lowland Yakushima: In Vitro Fermentation Assay and Genetic Analyses

Hanya, G and Tackmann, J and Sawada, A and Lee, W and Pokharel, SS and de Castro Maciel, VG and Toge, A and Kuroki, K and Otsuka, R and Mabuchi, R and Liu, J and Hatakeyama, M and Yamasaki, E and von Mering, C and Shimizu-Inatsugi, R and Hayakawa, T and Shimizu, KK and Ushida, K (2020) Fermentation Ability of Gut Microbiota of Wild Japanese Macaques in the Highland and Lowland Yakushima: In Vitro Fermentation Assay and Genetic Analyses. In: Microbial Ecology .

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00248-020-01515-8


Wild Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata Blyth) living in the highland and lowland areas of Yakushima are known to have different diets, with highland individuals consuming more leaves. We aim to clarify whether and how these differences in diet are also reflected by gut microbial composition and fermentation ability. Therefore, we conduct an in vitro fermentation assay using fresh feces from macaques as inoculum and dry leaf powder of Eurya japonica Thunb. as a substrate. Fermentation activity was higher for feces collected in the highland, as evidenced by higher gas and butyric acid production and lower pH. Genetic analysis indicated separation of highland and lowland in terms of both community structure and function of the gut microbiota. Comparison of feces and suspension after fermentation indicated that the community structure changed during fermentation, and the change was larger for lowland samples. Analysis of the 16S rRNA V3-V4 barcoding region of the gut microbiota showed that community structure was clearly clustered between the two areas. Furthermore, metagenomic analysis indicated separation by gene and pathway abundance patterns. Two pathways (glycogen biosynthesis I and D-galacturonate degradation I) were enriched in lowland samples, possibly related to the fruit-eating lifestyle in the lowland. Overall, we demonstrated that the more leaf-eating highland Japanese macaques harbor gut microbiota with higher leaf fermentation ability compared with the more fruit-eating lowland ones. Broad, non-specific taxonomic and functional gut microbiome differences suggest that this pattern may be driven by a complex interplay between many taxa and pathways rather than single functional traits. © 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Microbial Ecology
Publisher: SPRINGER
Additional Information: The copyright of this article belongs to SPRINGER
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2020 10:47
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2020 10:47
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/65452

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