What is it about?
The bacteria that live in a lizard cloaca (excretory and reproductive organ) are important for fitness and offspring survival. We found that different species of lizard host different bacteria even when in a similar environment, but also that the same species of lizard in a different habitat can have a different bacterial community.
Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash
Why is it important?
We know that microbes are important for health of all organisms, but much of the research is done on model animals or in the lab. It is important to learn about how the microbiome develops in natural conditions, in a wide range of organisms. These lizards are particularly interesting because they carry special microbes that protect their eggs from fungus in the soil. We found two factors that affect the microbiome -- environment and relatedness-- which are interesting areas for future research on many types of organism.
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This page is a summary of: Cloacal microbiomes of sympatric and allopatric Sceloporus lizards vary with environment and host relatedness, PLoS ONE, December 2022, PLOS,
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