Social relationships have profound effects on health in humans and other primates, but the mechanisms that explain this relationship are not well understood. Using shotgun metagenomic data from wild baboons, we found that social group membership and social network relationships predicted both the taxonomic structure of the gut microbiome and the structure of genes encoded by gut microbial species. Rates of interaction directly explained variation in the gut microbiome, even after controlling for diet, kinship, and shared environments. They therefore strongly implicate direct physical contact among social partners in the transmission of gut microbial species. We identified 51 socially structured taxa, which were significantly enriched for anaerobic and non-spore-forming lifestyles. Our results argue that social interactions are an important determinant of gut microbiome composition in natural animal populations-a relationship with important ramifications for understanding how social relationships influence health, as well as the evolution of group living.
- Eric Alm, MIT, United States
© 2015, Tung et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Avian takeoff requires peak pectoralis muscle power to generate sufficient aerodynamic force during the downstroke. Subsequently, the much smaller supracoracoideus recovers the wing during the upstroke. How the pectoralis work loop is tuned to power flight is unclear. We integrate wingbeat-resolved muscle, kinematic, and aerodynamic recordings in vivo with a new mathematical model to disentangle how the pectoralis muscle overcomes wing inertia and generates aerodynamic force during takeoff in doves. Doves reduce the angle of attack of their wing mid-downstroke to efficiently generate aerodynamic force, resulting in an aerodynamic power dip, that allows transferring excess pectoralis power into tensioning the supracoracoideus tendon to assist the upstroke—improving the pectoralis work loop efficiency simultaneously. Integrating extant bird data, our model shows how the pectoralis of birds with faster wingtip speed need to generate proportionally more power. Finally, birds with disproportionally larger wing inertia need to activate the pectoralis earlier to tune their downstroke.
Volatiles emitted by herbivore-attacked plants (senders) can enhance defenses in neighboring plants (receivers), however, the temporal dynamics of this phenomenon remain poorly studied. Using a custom-built, high-throughput proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) system, we explored temporal patterns of volatile transfer and responses between herbivore-attacked and undamaged maize plants. We found that continuous exposure to natural blends of herbivore-induced volatiles results in clocked temporal response patterns in neighboring plants, characterized by an induced terpene burst at the onset of the second day of exposure. This delayed burst is not explained by terpene accumulation during the night, but coincides with delayed jasmonate accumulation in receiver plants. The delayed burst occurs independent of day:night light transitions and cannot be fully explained by sender volatile dynamics. Instead, it is the result of a stress memory from volatile exposure during the first day and secondary exposure to bioactive volatiles on the second day. Our study reveals that prolonged exposure to natural blends of stress-induced volatiles results in a response that integrates priming and direct induction into a distinct and predictable temporal response pattern. This provides an answer to the long-standing question of whether stress volatiles predominantly induce or prime plant defenses in neighboring plants, by revealing that they can do both in sequence.