Exploring the Gut Microbiome Alteration of the European Hare (<i>Lepus europaeus</i>) after Short-Term Diet Modifications

This study aimed to characterise the gut microbiome composition of European hares (<i>Lepus europaeus)</i> and its potential changes after a short-term diet modification. The high sensitivity of European hare to habitat changes makes this species a good model to analyse possible alterati...

Full description

Bibliographic Details
Main Authors: Anna Padula, Marina Bambi, Chiara Mengoni, Claudia Greco, Nadia Mucci, Ilaria Greco, Alberto Masoni, Sara Del Duca, Giovanni Bacci, Giacomo Santini, Renato Fani, Marco Zaccaroni
Format: Article
Language:English
Published: MDPI AG 2021-02-01
Series:Biology
Subjects:
Online Access:https://www.mdpi.com/2079-7737/10/2/148
Description
Summary:This study aimed to characterise the gut microbiome composition of European hares (<i>Lepus europaeus)</i> and its potential changes after a short-term diet modification. The high sensitivity of European hare to habitat changes makes this species a good model to analyse possible alterations in gut microbiome after the introduction of additional nourishment into the diet. In total, 20 pairs were chosen for the experiments; 10 pairs formed the control group and were fed with standard fodder. The other 10 pairs represented the experimental group, whose diet was integrated with apples and carrots. The DNA from fresh faecal pellets collected after 4 days from the start of the experiment was extracted and the <i>V3-V4</i> hypervariable regions were amplified and sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq<sup>®</sup> platform. The obtained amplicon sequence variants were classified into 735 bacterial genera belonging to 285 families and 36 phyla. The control and the experimental groups appeared to have a homogenous dispersion for the two taxonomic levels analysed with the most abundant phyla represented by <i>Bacteroidetes</i> and <i>Firmicutes.</i> No difference between control and experimental samples was detected, suggesting that the short-term variation in food availability did not alter the hares’ gut microbiome. Further research is needed to estimate significant time threshold.
ISSN:2079-7737