Special Issue "Wildlife Microbiology"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)
Prof. Dr. Monica A. Sundset
Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Symbiotic Microbial Digestion; Comparative Digestive Physiology; Dietary Specialization; Molecular Microbial Ecology and Function in the Gut; Plant-Herbivore Interactions; Anti-nutrients; Methanogenesis and Methane Emissions
Intestinal microbiota is now well recognized as an important part of the host (Qin et al. 2010. Nature 464, 59-65). The size and diversity of the “cumulative genomes” are far bigger than host one, in fact its functionality is comparable to organs like the liver. “Dysbiosis” may relate to various refractory diseases. Wild animals in natural habitats rely on natural food, which often contain toxic and/or anti-nutritional compounds that elicit feed aversion. Wild animals, at least in part, rely on their gut microbiota to decompose such harmful compounds. These host-beneficial gut microbes can be considered as an essential component of the host.
Intestinal bacteriology was once conducted only by culture-dependent classical approach (Holdeman et al. 1972, Mitsuoka 1981) before the “Molecular era”. After the introduction of PCR technology, the composition of microbiota has been analyzed using molecular ecological approaches with a tremendous increase in the degree of integration since then. Culture-dependent technology requires a high skill of basic bacteriology, but culture-independent technology does not. In this circumstance, researchers who have an access to the fecal specimens can now realize the study of intestinal microbiology. Recently-developed so-called Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology promotes many commercial services, which increases the number of papers focusing on intestinal microbiology of any kind of research subject.
In the case of wild animals, several attempts have been made to isolate intestinal bacteria from captured individuals. However, wild animals in a natural habitat have rarely been subjected to this type of microbiological study, due to the tremendous difficulty in culturing by the lack of access to appropriate microbiological tools at the laboratory level in field conditions. Although the amounts of data are increasing due to the culture-independent approach, the functionality of “essential microbes for the host” could not be easily revealed by phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA molecules. Studies on isolated bacteria should be conducted for such purposes. However, even with such limitations, culture-independent SSU rRNA phylogenetic approaches provide characterization of gut microbiome of particular host animals and a comparative point of view among the host species may be interesting to reveal the adaptation gut bacteria and co-evolution of gut bacteria with host.
This Special Issue welcomes:
(1) Isolation approaches, which reveal co-evolution and health beneficial characteristics of gut bacteria for host wild animals. Zoo animals often lose these essential bacteria. (2) Molecular ecological approaches, which characterize the gut microbiome of the host. Comparative studies on animal hosts (at the genus or species level of host) will be most welcome, because such comparisons characterize the relationships between gut microbiome and particular host animals.
This Special Issue focuses on:
(1) Technical elaboration to isolate gut bacteria from wild animals in natural habitats.
(2) Essential gut microbes, which characterize the host animal in terms of defense against harmful compounds, better food utilization, etc.
(3) Culture-independent molecular approaches to gut microbiome of wildlife in natural conditions. Comparative studies are most welcome.
Dr. Kazunari Ushida
Prof. Dr. Monica A. Sundset
Manuscript Submission Information
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