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Maturation and stabilization of the infant gut microbiome in wild geladas

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Early-life development of the gut microbiome has a long-lasting impact on metabolism, the nervous system, and immunity. Yet, gut microbiome maturation remains poorly studied in wild mammals. Here, we analyzed the gut microbiome composition of wild infant geladas (Theropithecus gelada) using 16s rRNA amplicon sequencing of 525 fecal samples from 89 individuals between 0-3 years old. We characterized age-associated changes in the composition and function of the infant gut microbiome. We found that infants reach an adult-like microbiota configuration around 18 months, the approximate age of behavioral weaning in geladas - however, interindividual variation in the timing of this transition appears high. Infants shared more bacteria with their mother than expected by chance, suggesting vertical transmission, that was further modulated by maternal parity. Our findings highlight the dynamic nature of the gut colonization process in early life. Future studies should aim at unraveling the socioecological determinants generating inter-individual variation.


Alice Baniel (Stony Brook University)

Journey Description


E - Main Entrance/Reception
1 - Managing Board; sections: Infection Biology Unit, Unit of Infection Models, Laboratory Animal Science Unit, Primate Genetics Laboratory, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Unit, Cognitive Ethology Laboratory, Neurobiology Laboratory, Research Coordination, Public Relations, Information Technology, Administration, Technical Support, Library.
2 - Material Delivery/Purchase
3 - Platform Degenerative Diseases
4 - Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
5 - Animal Husbandry
6 - Imaging Center, Functional Imaging Laboratory

Arrival by car

Leave the interstate A7 at exit "Göttingen Nord". Follow the B27 straight ahead in the direction of "Braunlage". After the third traffic light intersection turn right towards "Kliniken". Afterwards turn left onto "Robert-Koch-Straße" direction "Universität Nordbereich/Polizei". At the end of "Robert-Koch-Straße" turn right onto "Otto-Hahn-Straße", direction "Nikolausberg". The first street on the left turn onto "Kellnerweg", follow the signs "Deutsches Primatenzentrum".

Arrival by bus

The footpath from the bus stop "Kellnerweg" to the Main Entrance/Reception: 
From Bus stop "Kellnerweg" (line 21/22 and 23) Cross the road, go in the direction of the bus. At the mailbox, turn left into the footpath and proceed to the end. Turn right into the Kellnerweg. The main entrance of the DPZ is on the left side.

Date and Time 20.05.21 - 16:00 - 18:00 Signup is not required

Location Online-Veranstaltung


Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH

Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

Kellnerweg 4

37077 Göttingen

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