November 04, 2019
We have heard a great deal in recent years of the importance of the human microbiome, but it is becoming clear that other species’ microbiomes play important roles in their health and wellbeing too.
Researchers from Michigan State University have been investigating dark-eyed juncos, a songbird species from North America. These small birds have bacteria that live in their preen glands. The bacteria produce a scent that the birds use to identify each other and communicate with one another, particularly about their mating potential. If this microbial population is altered or removed the birds’ ability to communicate is negatively affected, and their ability to pass on their genes to the next generation may be impacted.
The scientists observed that then antibiotics were administered to the birds their microbiome was impacted, as was the scent they produced. This research highlights the symbiotic relationship of the dark-eyed juncos and their microbial partners, and the importance of this relationship for communication.
Source: Phys Org
Read more: http://ow.ly/hTu550wZDhj