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Environ Microbiol Rep. 2018 Dec;10(6):655-662. doi: 10.1111/1758-2229.12677. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

First report of foregut microbial community in proboscis monkeys: are diverse forests a reservoir for diverse microbiomes?

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Department of Wildlife Science (Nagoya Railroad Co., Ltd.), Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Inuyama, Aichi, 484-8506, Japan.
Japan Monkey Centre, Inuyama, Aichi, 484-0081, Japan.
Sabah Wildlife Department, Wisma Muis, 88100, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Organisms and Environment Division, Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX, UK.
Danau Girang Field Centre, c/o Sabah Wildlife Department, Wisma Muis, 88100, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, 33 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3BA, UK.
Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 260, 8057, Zurich, Switzerland.
Kyoto Prefectural University, 1-5 Hangi-cho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8522, Japan.
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Kojimachi Business Center Building, 5-3-1 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-0083, Japan.
Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University, 246-2 Mizukami, Kakuganji, Tsuruoka, Yamagata, 997-0052, Japan.
Intestinal Microbiota Project, Kanagawa Institute of Industrial Science and Technology, 3-25-13 Tonomachi, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, 210-0821, Japan.
Transborder Medical Research Center, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8577, Japan.
PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency, 4-1-8 Honcho Kawaguchi, Saitama, 332-0012, Japan.
Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Inuyama, Aichi, 484-8506, Japan.
Chubu University Academy of Emerging Sciences, 1200, Matsumoto-cho, Kasugai-shi, Aichi, 487-8501, Japan.
Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University, 2-24 Tanaka-Sekiden-cho, Sakyo, Kyoto, 606-8203, Japan.
Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMS, 88400, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.


Foregut fermentation is well known to occur in a wide range of mammalian species and in a single bird species. Yet, the foregut microbial community of free-ranging, foregut-fermenting monkeys, that is, colobines, has not been investigated so far. We analysed the foregut microbiomes in four free-ranging proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus) from two different tropical habitats with varying plant diversity (mangrove and riverine forests), in an individual from a semi-free-ranging setting with supplemental feeding, and in an individual from captivity, using high-throughput sequencing based on 16S ribosomal RNA genes. We found a decrease in foregut microbial diversity from a diverse natural habitat (riverine forest) to a low diverse natural habitat (mangrove forest), to human-related environments. Of a total of 2700 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) detected in all environments, only 153 OTUs were shared across all individuals, suggesting that they were not influenced by diet or habitat. These OTUs were dominated by Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The relative abundance of the habitat-specific microbial communities showed a wide range of differences among living environments, although such bacterial communities appeared to be dominated by Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, suggesting that those phyla are key to understanding the adaptive strategy in proboscis monkeys living in different habitats.

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