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Terrestrial Vertebrate Animal Metagenomics: Herbivorous Reptiles

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Encyclopedia of Metagenomics


Advances in the understanding of gut microbes in herbivorous iguanas; High-throughput sequencing of gut microbes in herbivorous reptiles


The gut microbial community is dominated by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, with a low percentage of methanogens. Collectively, these microorganisms play important roles in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates and in the modification of chemical metabolites prevalent in herbage diets.


Herbivory involves the ingestion of the fibrous parts of plants (e.g., leaves, stems, and buds) and the subsequent breakdown of the complex carbohydrates (i.e., celluloses and hemicelluloses) that are present in plant cell walls. The breakdown of complex carbohydrates makes an important contribution to host nutrition. Herbivory is relatively rare in reptiles (i.e., <2 % of reptiles of >7,800 recognized species of squamate reptiles), being restricted to a few turtles, 40 species of tortoises (order Chelonia), and about 50 species of...

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Correspondence to Roderick I. Mackie .

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Hong, PY., Cann, I., Mackie, R.I. (2015). Terrestrial Vertebrate Animal Metagenomics: Herbivorous Reptiles. In: Highlander, S.K., Rodriguez-Valera, F., White, B.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Metagenomics. Springer, Boston, MA.

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