Early sexual dimorphism in the developing gut microbiome of northern elephant seals

Martin Adam Stoffel, Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse, Nami Morales-Durán, Stefanie Grosser, Nayden Chakarov, Oliver Krüger, Hazel J. Nichols, Fernando R. Elorriaga-Verplancken & Joseph I. Hoffman
The gut microbiome is an integral part of a species’ ecology, but we know little about how host characteristics impact its development in wild populations. Here, we explored the role of such intrinsic factors in shaping the gut microbiome of northern elephant seals during a critical developmental window of six weeks after weaning, when the pups stay ashore without feeding. We found substantial sex-differences in the early-life gut microbiome, even though males and females could...
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