Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 4;8:45840. doi: 10.1038/srep45840.

Microbial Biogeography and Core Microbiota of the Rat Digestive Tract.

Author information

State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, P.R. China.
Departments of Cancer Biology and Biochemistry, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.
Beijing Innovation Centre of Food Nutrition and Human Health, Beijing Technology and Business University (BTBU), Beijing 100048, P.R. China.


As a long-standing biomedical model, rats have been frequently used in studies exploring the correlations between gastrointestinal (GI) bacterial biota and diseases. In the present study, luminal and mucosal samples taken along the longitudinal axis of the rat digestive tract were subjected to 16S rRNA gene sequencing-based analysis to determine the baseline microbial composition. Results showed that the community diversity increased from the upper to lower GI segments and that the stratification of microbial communities as well as shift of microbial metabolites were driven by biogeographic location. A greater proportion of lactate-producing bacteria (such as Lactobacillus, Turicibacter and Streptococcus) were found in the stomach and small intestine, while anaerobic Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae, fermenting carbohydrates and plant aromatic compounds, constituted the bulk of the large-intestinal core microbiota where topologically distinct co-occurrence networks were constructed for the adjacent luminal and mucosal compartments. When comparing the GI microbiota from different hosts, we found that the rat microbial biogeography might represent a new reference, distinct from other murine animals. Our study provides the first comprehensive characterization of the rat GI microbiota landscape for the research community, laying the foundation for better understanding and predicting the disease-related alterations in microbial communities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center