Rare gut microbiota associated with breeding success, hormone metabolites and ovarian cycle phase in the critically endangered eastern black rhino.

Affiliation

School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, UK. [Email]

Abstract

Host microbiomes play a role in hormone production and subsequent fertility in humans, but this is less well understood in non-model organisms. This is of particular relevance to species in zoo-based conservation breeding programmes, as relationships between host microbiome composition and reproductive output may allow for the development of microbial augmentation strategies to improve success. Here, we characterise faecal bacterial communities of breeding and non-breeding eastern black rhino (Diceros bicornis michaeli) using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and quantify progestagen and glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations through enzyme immunoassays to identify such relationships.

Keywords

Conservation breeding programmes,Faecal metabolites,Glucocorticoids,Indicator analysis,Progestagens,

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