Projects per year
The gut microbiota can have important, wide-ranging effects on its host. To date, laboratory animals, particularly mice, have been the major study system for microbiota research. It is now becoming increasingly clear that laboratory animals often poorly model aspects of the biology of wild animals, and this concern extends to the study of the gut microbiota. Here, the relatively few studies of the microbiota of wild rodents are reviewed, including a critical assessment of how the gut microbiota differs between laboratory and wild rodents. Finally, the many potential advantages and opportunities of wild-animal systems for research into the gut microbiota are considered.