Effects of captivity and artificial breeding on microbiota in feces of the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis). Academic Article uri icon


  • Reintroduction of the threatened red-crowned crane has been unsuccessful. Although gut microbiota correlates with host health, there is little information on gut microbiota of cranes under different conservation strategies. The study examined effects of captivity, artificial breeding and life stage on gut microbiota of red-crown cranes. The gut microbiotas of wild, captive adolescent, captive adult, artificially bred adolescent and artificially bred adult cranes were characterized by next-generation sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. The gut microbiotas were dominated by three phyla: Firmicutes (62.9%), Proteobacteria (29.9%) and Fusobacteria (9.6%). Bacilli dominated the 'core' community consisting of 198 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Both captivity and artificial breeding influenced the structures and diversities microbiota of the gut. Especially, wild cranes had distinct compositions of gut microbiota from captive and artificially bred cranes. The greatest alpha diversity was found in captive cranes, while wild cranes had the least. According to the results of ordination analysis, influences of captivity and artificial breeding were greater than that of life stage. Overall, captivity and artificial breeding influenced the gut microbiota, potentially due to changes in diet, vaccination, antibiotics and living conditions. Metagenomics can serve as a supplementary non-invasive screening tool for disease control.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

altmetric score

  • 20.68

author list (cited authors)

  • Xie, Y., Xia, P. u., Wang, H., Yu, H., Giesy, J. P., Zhang, Y., Mora, M. A., & Zhang, X.

citation count

  • 46

complete list of authors

  • Xie, Yuwei||Xia, Pu||Wang, Hui||Yu, Hongxia||Giesy, John P||Zhang, Yimin||Mora, Miguel A||Zhang, Xiaowei

publication date

  • January 2016