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    Although knowledge of the functions of the gut microbiome has increased greatly over the past few decades, our understanding of the mechanisms governing its ecology and evolution remains obscure. While host genetic distance is a strong predictor of the gut microbiome in large-scale studies and captive settings, its influence has not always been evident at finer taxonomic scales, especially when considering among the recently diverged animals in natural settings. Comparing the gut microbiome of 19 populations of Japanese macaques Macaca fuscata across the Japanese archipelago, we assessed the relative roles of host genetic distance, geographic distance and dietary factors in influencing the macaque gut microbiome. Our results suggested that the macaques may maintain a core gut microbiome, while each population may have acquired some microbes from its specific habitat/diet. Diet-related factors such as season, forest, and reliance on anthropogenic foods played a stronger role in shaping the macaque gut microbiome. Among closely related mammalian hosts, host genetics may have limited effects on the gut microbiome since the hosts generally have smaller physiological differences. This study contributes to our understanding of the relative roles of host phylogeography and dietary factors in shaping the gut microbiome of closely related mammalian hosts. © 2023 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

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    Wanyi Lee, Takashi Hayakawa, Mieko Kiyono, Naoto Yamabata, Hiroto Enari, Haruka S Enari, Shiho Fujita, Tatsuro Kawazoe, Takayuki Asai, Toru Oi, Takashi Kondo, Takeharu Uno, Kentaro Seki, Masaki Shimada, Yamato Tsuji, Abdullah Langgeng, Andrew MacIntosh, Katsuya Suzuki, Kazunori Yamada, Kenji Onishi, Masataka Ueno, Kentaro Kubo, Goro Hanya. Diet-related factors strongly shaped the gut microbiota of Japanese macaques. American journal of primatology. 2023 Dec;85(12):e23555

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    PMID: 37766673

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