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Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2021

Exposure to foreign gut microbiota can facilitate rapid dietary shifts

Abstract

Dietary niche is fundamental for determining species ecology; thus, a detailed understanding of what drives variation in dietary niche is vital for predicting ecological shifts and could have implications for species management. Gut microbiota can be important for determining an organism’s dietary preference, and therefore which food resources they are likely to exploit. Evidence for whether the composition of the gut microbiota is plastic in response to changes in diet is mixed. Also, the extent to which dietary preference can be changed following colonisation by new gut microbiota from different species is unknown. Here, we use Drosophila spp. to show that: (1) the composition of an individual’s gut microbiota can change in response to dietary changes, and (2) ingestion of foreign gut microbes can cause individuals to be attracted to food types they previously had a strong aversion to. Thus, we expose a mechanism for facilitating rapid shifts in dietary niche over short evolutionary timescales.
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hal-03333523 , version 1 (03-09-2021)

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C Heys, a M Fisher, a D Dewhurst, Z Lewis, A Lizé. Exposure to foreign gut microbiota can facilitate rapid dietary shifts. Scientific Reports, 2021, 11 (1), pp.16791. ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-96324-5⟩. ⟨hal-03333523⟩
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