Variation in gut microbiome structure across the annual hibernation cycle in a wild primate.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The gut microbiome can mediate host metabolism, including facilitating energy-saving strategies like hibernation. The dwarf lemurs of Madagascar (Cheirogaleus spp.) are the only obligate hibernators among primates. They also hibernate in the subtropics, and unlike temperate hibernators, fatten by converting fruit sugars to lipid deposits, torpor at relatively warm temperatures, and forage for a generalized diet after emergence. Despite these ecological differences, we might expect hibernation to shape the gut microbiome in similar ways across mammals. We, therefore, compare gut microbiome profiles, determined by amplicon sequencing of rectal swabs, in wild furry-eared dwarf lemurs (C. crossleyi) during fattening, hibernation, and after emergence. The dwarf lemurs exhibited reduced gut microbial diversity during fattening, intermediate diversity and increased community homogenization during hibernation, and greatest diversity after emergence. The Mycoplasma genus was enriched during fattening, whereas the Aerococcaceae and Actinomycetaceae families, and not Akkermansia, bloomed during hibernation. As expected, the dwarf lemurs showed seasonal reconfigurations of the gut microbiome; however, the patterns of microbial diversity diverged from temperate hibernators, and better resembled the shifts associated with dietary fruits and sugars in primates and model organisms. Our results thus highlight the potential for dwarf lemurs to probe microbiome-mediated metabolism in primates under contrasting conditions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Greene, LK; Andriambeloson, J-B; Rasoanaivo, HA; Yoder, AD; Blanco, MB

Published Date

  • July 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 98 / 7

Start / End Page

  • fiac070 -

PubMed ID

  • 35679092

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1574-6941

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0168-6496

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/femsec/fiac070


  • eng