Background: The horse plays crucial roles across the globe, including in horseracing, as a working and companion animal and as a food animal. The horse hindgut microbiome makes a key contribution in turning a high fibre diet into body mass and horsepower. However, despite its importance, the horse hindgut microbiome remains largely undefined. Here, we applied culture-independent shotgun metagenomics to thoroughbred equine faecal samples to deliver novel insights into this complex microbial community. Results: We performed metagenomic sequencing on five equine faecal samples to construct 123 high- or medium-quality metagenome-assembled genomes from Bacteria and Archaea. In addition, we recovered nearly 200 bacteriophage genomes. We document surprising taxonomic diversity, encompassing dozens of novel or unnamed bacterial genera and species, to which we have assigned new Candidatus names. Many of these genera are conserved across a range of mammalian gut microbiomes. Conclusions: Our metagenomic analyses provide new insights into the bacterial, archaeal and bacteriophage components of the horse gut microbiome. The resulting datasets provide a key resource for future high-resolution taxonomic and functional studies on the equine gut microbiome.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The following grant information was disclosed by the authors: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Quadram Institute Bioscience BBSRC-funded Strategic Programme, Microbes in the Food Chain: BB/R012504/1. Theme 3, Microbial Communities in the Food Chain: BBS/E/F/000PR10351. Medical Research Council CLIMB: MR/L015080/1. BBSRC Institute Strategic Programme Gut Microbes and Health BB/R012490/1, BBS/E/F/ 000PR10353, BBS/E/F/000PR10356. Alborada Trust.
The work was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Rachel Gilroy, Anuradha Ravi and Mark J Pallen are supported by the Quadram Institute Bioscience BBSRC-funded Strategic Programme: Microbes in the Food Chain (project no. BB/R012504/1) and its constituent project BBS/E/F/000PR10351 (Theme 3, Microbial Communities in the Food Chain) and by the Medical Research Council CLIMB grant (MR/L015080/1), Evelien M Adriaenssens was funded by the BBSRC Institute Strategic Programme Gut Microbes and Health BB/R012490/1 and its constituent projects BBS/E/F/000PR10353 and BBS/E/F/000PR10356. Joy Leng and Christopher Proudman were funded by the Alborada Trust (http://www.alboradatrust.com) as part of their Alborada Well Foal study. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
© 2022 Gilroy et al.