Gut microbiota of migratory passerines during stopover

Submitted by Johan on 13 April 2016.

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Studies from mammalian systems have highlighted an important role of the gut microbiota in regulating host digestion, metabolism, and immune function; however the makeup and impacts of gut microbiota in avian gastrointestinal tracts is poorly known. 

In this article we present the results of our next-generation sequencing analysis performed on Swainson’s Thrush and Gray Catbird fecal samples collected during both spring and fall migration. Our aim with this article is to provide a first look at the makeup and possible driving influences of the microbiota of passerines during migration and to help bring avian gut microbiota, and the potentially large influences on avian fitness, into the public consciousness of ornithologists worldwide.

Will Lewis, author

Gray catbird from the study

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