Uppbyggnad och utveckling av däggdjurs mikrobiom

Tidsperiod: 2020-07-01 till 2023-06-30

Projektledare: Elin Videvall

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Bidrag för anställning eller stipendier

Budget: 3 150 000 SEK

The assembly of the gut microbiome after birth is one of the most important processes for animal development and health. Yet we know extremely little about this process, including whether microbes are inherited or acquired from the environment (vertical vs. horizontal transmission). In addition, several studies have demonstrated that model organisms that are currently available to study these processes harbor a “humanized” artificial microbiota that is highly reduced compared to that of wildlife. To understand the process of host microbial assembly, we need to avoid the anthropogenic effects present in model organisms. Here, I propose a completely novel study on microbiome maturation in wild mammals. I plan to use an established field system at Mpala Research Centre in Kenya for longitudinal sampling of mothers and offspring of three large- and three small-mammal species. These species represent distinct dietary niches, gut physiologies, and developmental strategies (precocial vs. altricial). Microbiome and diet composition will be determined using high-throughput DNA-sequencing, allowing me to quantify with high precision the effect of dietary and maternal contributions to the microbial colonization of developing offspring through weaning. Together with the host lab of Dr. Tyler Kartzinel, an expert in wildlife diet and microbiomes, I will conduct this research at Brown University, USA for three years before returning to Sweden as an independent PI.