Analysis of the Gut Microbiota by High-Throughput Sequencing of the V5–V6 Regions of the 16S rRNA Gene in Donkey
Considerable evidence suggests that the gut microbiota is complex in many mammals and gut bacteria communities are essential for maintaining gut homeostasis. To date the research on the gut microbiota of donkey is surprisingly scarce. Therefore, we performed high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes V5–V6 hypervariable regions from gut fecal material to characterize the gut microbiota of healthy donkeys and compare the difference of gut microbiota between male and female donkeys. Sixty healthy donkeys (30 males and 30 females) were enrolled in the study, a total of 915,691 validated reads were obtained, and the bacteria found belonged to 21 phyla and 183 genera. At the phylum level, the bacterial community composition was similar for the male and female donkeys and predominated by Firmicutes (64 % males and 64 % females) and Bacteroidetes (23 % males and 21 % females), followed by Verrucomicrobia, Euryarchaeota, Spirochaetes, and Proteobacteria. At the genus level, Akkermansia was the most abundant genus (23 % males and 17 % females), followed by Sporobacter, Methanobrevibacter, and Treponema, detected in higher distribution proportion in males than in females. On the contrary, Acinetobacter and Lysinibacillus were lower in males than in females. In addition, six phyla and 15 genera were significantly different between the male and female donkeys for species abundance. These findings provide previously unknown information about the gut microbiota of donkeys and also provide a foundation for future investigations of gut bacterial factors that may influence the development and progression of gastrointestinal disease in donkey and other animals.
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