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Gut microbe

Primates are typical generalists and eat various kinds of foods having various distributional, physical and nutritional properties. Primate feeding ecologists, including myself, have traditionally emphasized behavioral adaptations to search food patches, such as ranging and activity budget.
As another type of feeding-related adaptation, I am particularly interested in the roles of gut microbe during the digestion. One individual primates usually posesses 500-1000 species of gut microbe, which have almost 100 times more genes than the host animal. It is a big frontier in primate feeding ecology to reveal how primates utilize this vastly diverse genes for their survival.
Working with students and post docs, I am studying relationships between primate diet and gut microbe community structure, evalution of fermentation ability of the gut microbe using in vitro fermentation assay, and coevolution between primate and gut microbe of many species of primates living in Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Morocco, Uganda and Gabon.

1. Fermentation ability of the gut microbe of Japanese macaques in the highland and lowland Yakushima

I conducted in vitro fermentation assay for fresh feces of wild Japanese macaques living in the highland and lowland Yakushima, where their diet differ considerably. Fermentation ability was higher for highland feces, where macaques eat more leaves than in the lowland, where they eat more fruits. Genetic analyses indicated that gut microbe community structure differed between the two areas and lowland samples were more enriched with pathway concerning the storage of sugar. The results suggests that the gut microbe help the digestion of generalist host animals having flexible diet.
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<Written by: Goro Hanya (hanya.goro.5z<atmark>>
<Contact: Goro Hanya (hanya.goro.5z<atmark>>
<Last update: May 26, 2020>