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First report on metagenomic analysis of gut microbiome in Island Flying Fox (Pteropus hypomelanus) revealing latitudinal correlation as opposed to host phylogeny in island populations of Malaysia
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  • Nur Syafika Mohd-Yusof,
  • Muhammad Abu Bakar Abdul-Latiff,
  • Abd Rahman Mohd-Ridwan,
  • Aqilah Sakinah Badrulisham,
  • Salmah Yaakop,
  • Shukor Md-Nor,
  • BADRUL MUNIR MD-ZAIN
Nur Syafika Mohd-Yusof
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
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Muhammad Abu Bakar Abdul-Latiff
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia
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Abd Rahman Mohd-Ridwan
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
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Aqilah Sakinah Badrulisham
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
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Salmah Yaakop
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
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Shukor Md-Nor
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
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BADRUL MUNIR MD-ZAIN
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
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Abstract

Flying fox (Pteropus hypomelanus) belongs to the frugivorous bats, which play a crucial role in maintaining proper functioning of an ecosystem and conservation of environment. Bats are well known carriers of pathogenic viruses such as BatCov RaTG13 from the coronavirus family that share 90.55% with SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing recent global pandemic coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). However, bats’ possible role as a carrier of pathogenic bacteria is less explored. Here, using metagenomic analysis through high-throughput sequencing, we explored the gut microbiome composition of different island populations on the east and west coasts of Peninsula Malaysia. The 16S rRNA gene in samples from Redang Island, Langkawi Island, Pangkor Island and Tinggi Island was amplified. Bacterial community composition and structure were analyzed with α and β diversity metrics. In contrast to recent studies of host-microbe associations in other mammals, we found no correlation between host phylogeny and bacterial community dissimilarity across four island populations. Our analyses suggest that the significant linear relationship between Redang Island and Langkawi Island implies high bacteria diversity which supporting latitudinal correlation. We found geographic locality is a strong predictor of microbial community composition and observed a positive correlation between ecological features and bacterial richness.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

01 Jun 2020Submitted to Molecular Ecology
03 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
03 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
18 Jun 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending