In an attempt to explore the role of the gut microbiome during recent canine evolutionary history, we sequenced the metagenome of 13 canine coprolites dated ca. 3,600–3,450 years ago from the Bronze Age archaeological site of Solarolo (Italy), which housed a complex farming community. The microbiome structure of Solarolo dogs revealed continuity with that of modern dogs, but it also shared some features with the wild wolf microbiome, as a kind of transitional state between them. The dietary niche, as also inferred from the microbiome composition, was omnivorous, with evidence of consumption of starchy agricultural foods. Of interest, the Solarolo dog microbiome was particularly enriched in sequences encoding alpha-amylases and complemented a low copy number of the host amylase gene. These findings suggest that Neolithic dogs could have responded to the transition to a starch-rich diet by expanding microbial functionalities devoted to starch catabolism, thus compensating for delayed host response.

The gut microbiome buffers dietary adaptation in Bronze Age domesticated dogs

Rampelli S.
;
Turroni S.;Debandi F.;Taddia A.;Helg R.;Biagi E.;Brigidi P.;D'Amico F.;Cattani M.;Candela M.
2021

Abstract

In an attempt to explore the role of the gut microbiome during recent canine evolutionary history, we sequenced the metagenome of 13 canine coprolites dated ca. 3,600–3,450 years ago from the Bronze Age archaeological site of Solarolo (Italy), which housed a complex farming community. The microbiome structure of Solarolo dogs revealed continuity with that of modern dogs, but it also shared some features with the wild wolf microbiome, as a kind of transitional state between them. The dietary niche, as also inferred from the microbiome composition, was omnivorous, with evidence of consumption of starchy agricultural foods. Of interest, the Solarolo dog microbiome was particularly enriched in sequences encoding alpha-amylases and complemented a low copy number of the host amylase gene. These findings suggest that Neolithic dogs could have responded to the transition to a starch-rich diet by expanding microbial functionalities devoted to starch catabolism, thus compensating for delayed host response.
Rampelli S.; Turroni S.; Debandi F.; Alberdi A.; Schnorr S.L.; Hofman C.A.; Taddia A.; Helg R.; Biagi E.; Brigidi P.; D'Amico F.; Cattani M.; Candela M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/854441
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