Geographically diverse canid sampling provides novel insights into pre-industrial microbiomes

K. Yarlagadda, A. J. Zachwieja, A. de Flamingh, T. Phungviwatnikul, A. G. Rivera-Colón, C. Roseman, L. Shackelford, K. S. Swanson, R. S. Malhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Canine microbiome studies are often limited in the geographic and temporal scope of samples studied. This results in a paucity of data on the canine microbiome around the world, especially in contexts where dogs may not be pets or human associated. Here, we present the shotgun sequences of fecal microbiomes of pet dogs from South Africa, shelter and stray dogs from India, and stray village dogs in Laos. We additionally performed a dietary experiment with dogs housed in a veterinary medical school, attempting to replicate the diet of the sampled dogs from Laos. We analyse the taxonomic diversity in these populations and identify the underlying functional redundancy of these microbiomes. Our results show that diet alone is not sufficient to recapitulate the higher diversity seen in the microbiome of dogs from Laos. Comparisons to previous studies and ancient dog fecal microbiomes highlight the need for greater population diversity in studies of canine microbiomes, as modern analogues can provide better comparisons to ancient microbiomes. We identify trends in microbial diversity and industrialization in dogs that mirror results of human studies, suggesting future research can make use of these companion animals as substitutes for humans in studying the effects of industrialization on the microbiome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20220052
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1974
StatePublished - 2022


  • ancient DNA
  • canine
  • industrialization
  • microbiome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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