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Supplementary Material for: The Gut Microbiome of Wild Lemurs: A Comparison of Sympatric Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi

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posted on 19.05.2015, 00:00 by Fogel A.T.
Mammalian gut microbes are invaluable to the host's metabolism, but few researchers have examined gut microbial dynamics under natural conditions in wild mammals. This study aims to help fill this knowledge gap with a survey of the natural variation of the gut microbiome in 2 wild lemur species, Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi. The wild L. catta were also compared to a captive population to discern the effect of habitat within a species. Gut microbial DNA was extracted from fecal samples collected in Madagascar and the Vienna Zoo and sequenced. The wild and captive L. catta had distinct microbial communities, likely due to differences in diet and development between their populations. The wild L. catta and P. verreauxi also had distinct gut microbiomes, due to a change in microbial abundance, not composition. Within each lemur species, there was abundant variation between individuals and from the dry to the wet season. The intraspecific and temporal microbial variation requires more investigation, with changes in diet a likely contributor.