DOI: 10.1101/511618Jan 4, 2019Paper

Divergence in gut microbial communities mirrors a social group fission event in a black-and-white colobus monkey (Colobus vellerosus)

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Claire K GoodfellowNelson Ting


Host behavior and social factors have increasingly been implicated in structuring the composition of gut microbial communities. In social animals, distinct microbial communities characterize different social groups across a variety of taxa, although little longitudinal research has been conducted that demonstrates how this divergence occurs. Our study addresses this question by characterizing the gut microbial composition of an African Old World monkey, the black-and-white colobus (Colobus vellerosus), prior to and after a social group fission event. Gut microbial taxonomic composition of these monkeys was profiled using the V-4 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16s rRNA gene, and pairwise-relatedness values were calculated for all individuals using 17 STR loci and partial pedigree information. The two social groups in this study were found to harbor distinct microbial signatures after the fission event from which they emerged, while these communities were not divergent in the same individuals prior to this event. Three genera were found to differ in abundance between the two new social groups: Parabacteroides, Coprococcus, and Porphyromonadaceae. Additionally, although this fission happened partially along lines of related...Continue Reading

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