[Continuation of project b2015390 on Milou] This project is 3 main aims, focusing primarily on how the genetic diversity of mammals is affected by recent human activities, in how far local adaptation to different environments plays a role in shaping individual genetic profiles, and how ecology and social factors interact to determine the diversity of bacterial symbionts.
1) Specifically, we study how genetic diversity of eastern lowland gorillas has changed in the recent past by comparing contemporary fecal samples and museum specimens up to 100 years old. We generated hiseq2500 sequencing data and are currently in the process of finalising the manuscript.
2) Simultaneously, we characterize gut microbial communities that may facilitate adaptations to different diets in local gorilla population and study dietary composition in these populations directly from fecal samples. The latter two organism groups will be studied by sequencing amplicons of the V4 region of the 16S ribosomal RNA for microbiota study and the trnL P6 chloroplast locus for diet analyses. We generated amplicon sequencing data from fecal samples on the Illumina miseq platform.
3) We also analyze killer whale skin-microbiome diversity and it’s function to determine how ecological, geographical or social factors interact to shape the microbial composition. For this we use shotgun sequencing data obtain from killer whale skin biopsies to characterize difference in killer whale ecotypes. Sequencing data has been produced externally and is analysed in this project.