Main content area

Composition and diversity of the bacterial community in snow leopard (Uncia uncia) distal gut

Zhang, Honghai, Liu, Guangshuai, Chen, Lei, Sha, Weilai
Annals of microbiology 2015 v.65 no.2 pp. 703-711
Actinobacteria, Clostridiaceae, Panthera uncia, Peptostreptococcaceae, Proteobacteria, bacterial communities, carnivores, clones, digestive system, feces, intestinal microorganisms, mammals, nucleotide sequences, phylotype, ribosomal RNA, sequence analysis
Intestinal microflora influences many essential metabolic functions, and is receiving increasing attention from the scientific community. However, information on intestinal microbiota, especially for large wild carnivores, is insufficient. In the present study, the bacterial community in the feces of snow leopards (Uncia uncia) was described based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. A total of 339 near-full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences representing 46 non-redundant bacterial phylotypes (operational taxonomical units, OTUs) were identified in fecal samples from four healthy snow leopards. Four different bacterial phyla were identified: Firmicutes (56.5 %), Actinobacteria (17.5 %), Bacteroidetes (13 %), and Proteobacteria (13 %). The phylum Actinobacteria was the most abundant lineage, with 40.4 % of all identified clones, but Clostridiales, with 50 % of all OTUs, was the most diverse bacterial order. The order Clostridiales was affiliated with four families: Clostridiaceae I, Lachnospiraceae, Peptostreptococcaceae, and Ruminococcaceae. Lachnospiraceae was the most diverse family with 17 OTUs identified. These findings were basically consistent with previous reports on the bacterial diversity in feces from other mammals.