Menu

Great Ape Microbiomes

Chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas harbor more microbial diversity in their guts than do humans, a study shows.

Nov 6, 2014
Tracy Vence

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, IKIWANERCompared with those of humans, the gut microbiomes of chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas are remarkably similar—owing in part to shared ancestral microbial diversity. Since diverging from Pan, “humanity has experienced a depletion of the gut flora,” a team led by investigators at the University of Texas in Austin reported in PNAS this week (November 3). Biologist Howard Ochman and his colleagues characterized the microbiomes of African apes, finding that chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas harbor more diverse species of bacteria than humans. “Compositional change in the microbiome was slow and clock-like during African ape diversification, but human microbiomes have deviated from the ancestral state at an accelerated rate,” they wrote in the paper.

“Ochman and colleagues show that human evolution was accompanied by both a rapid divergence of the microbiome from the microbiome of apes, and a drastic loss of diversity of the microbial community,” Thomas Bosch of Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, who was not involved in the work told New Scientist.

This loss of microbiome diversity had a lot to do with the human preference for animal-based diets, according to the team. But exactly how dietary and other factors may have altered the human gut has yet to be determined.

“Whether this change of the [microbiome] was one of the key drivers of human evolution and the development of human specific features remains to be shown,” Bosch told New Scientist.

April 2019

Will Car T Cells Smash Tumors?

New trials take the therapy beyond the blood

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Getting More Consistent Results by Knowing the Quality of Your Protein
Getting More Consistent Results by Knowing the Quality of Your Protein
Download this guide from NanoTemper to learn how to identify and evaluate the quality of your protein samples!
Myth Busting: The Best Way to Use Pure Water in the Lab
Myth Busting: The Best Way to Use Pure Water in the Lab
Download this white paper from ELGA LabWater to learn about the role of pure water in the laboratory and the advantages of in-house water purification!
Shimadzu's New Nexera UHPLC Series with AI and IoT Enhancements Sets Industry Standard for Intelligence, Efficiency and Design
Shimadzu's New Nexera UHPLC Series with AI and IoT Enhancements Sets Industry Standard for Intelligence, Efficiency and Design
Shimadzu Corporation announces the release of the Nexera Ultra High-Performance Liquid Chromatograph series, incorporating artificial intelligence as Analytical Intelligence, allowing systems to detect and resolve issues automatically. The Nexera series makes lab management simple by integrating IoT and device networking, enabling users to easily review instrument status, optimize resource allocation, and achieve higher throughput.
IDT lowers genomic barriers with powerful rhAmpSeq™ targeted sequencing system
IDT lowers genomic barriers with powerful rhAmpSeq™ targeted sequencing system
Increasing accuracy and reducing cost barriers, IDT’s innovative system delivers simple and cost-effective amplicon sequencing