The 85th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2016)

Dietary correlates of gut microbe composition in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus)


1Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2Carl R Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

April 16, 2016 9, Atrium Ballroom A/B Add to calendar

Nonhuman primate gut microbiota composition varies in response to changes in diet composition. To better understand the influence of temporal variation in fruit consumption on the gut microbiota of primates, a group of 21-22 white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) at La Suerte Biological Field Station, Costa Rica was followed for 12 months. Information on activity budget and diet were collected, and fruit availability was assessed at 2-week intervals. DNA was extracted from fecal samples collected during the observational study (n=170), and the v3-v5 region of 16S rRNA was amplified. Samples were individually barcoded and sequenced on the Illumina MiSeq platform. Using the TORNADO pipeline, OTUs were identified and assigned to taxa. White-faced capuchin gut bacterial communities were characterized primarily by Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Overall bacterial community structure was not significantly influenced by fruit availability (PERMANOVA, p>0.05), fruit abundance was negatively correlated with the relative abundance of the bacteria of the genus Megasphaera (Spearman rank correlation; p=0.007, rho=-0.208) and positively correlated with Serratia and Paralactobacillus (p=0.017, rho=0.183; p=0.033, rho=0.163). The relative abundance of Megasphaera was negatively correlated with the frequency of consumption of Psidium guava and Inga spectabilis (Spearman rank correlation; p=0.007, rho=-0.205; p=0.010, rho=-0.198), Paralactobacillus was negatively correlated with the frequency of consumption of Psidium guava (p=0.045, rho=-0.154), and Serratia was negatively correlated with the frequency of consumption of Hampea appendiculata and Dipteryx panamensis (p=0.005, rho=-0.214; p=0.041, rho=-0.157). These results increase our understanding of how primate gut microbiomes are related to diet composition and my buffer seasonal differences in food availability.

This study was funded by the NSF GRFP, the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.