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University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Dissertations, Theses, & Student Research in Food Science and Technology

Bacteriology

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The Evolution Of Host Specificity In The Vertebrate Gut Symbiont Lactobacillus Reuteri, Steven Frese Nov 2012

The Evolution Of Host Specificity In The Vertebrate Gut Symbiont Lactobacillus Reuteri, Steven Frese

Dissertations, Theses, & Student Research in Food Science and Technology

The vertebrate gut is home to one of the densest populations of life on Earth. This microbial community has a profound effect on host health, nutrition, development, behavior, and evolution. However, very little is known about how these microbes have evolved with their vertebrate hosts, how and whether they select hosts or how they remain associated with their hosts. Recent work identified Lactobacillus reuteri as an organism that is composed of host-specific sub-populations, each population associated with a different host animal. Representatives from each host-associated population were tested for their ability to colonize gnotobiotic mice, which only rodent strains could ...