The study of animal diet and feeding behaviour is a fundamental tool for the illustration of the ecological role of species in the ecosystem. However, size and quality of food intake samples make it hard for researchers to describe the diet composition of many small species. In our study, we exploited genomic tools for the analysis of the diet composition of the Savi's pine vole (Microtus savii) using DNA barcoding and qPCR techniques for the identification of ingested plant species retrieved from stomach contents. In contrast with previous studies, we found that, despite being a fossorial species, the Savi's pine vole is a selective feeder that undergoes intense superficial activity in search for food. In addition, our study shows that with a a priori knowledge of the candidate plant species included in animal diet, qPCR is a powerful tool to assess presence/absence, frequency of occurrence and electivity of ingested species. We conclude that this approach offers new opportunities to implement the analysis of food selection in small animals, thereby revealing a detailed picture of plant-animal interactions.

Assessment of seasonal variation of diet composition in rodents using DNA barcoding and Real-Time PCR / Dell'Agnello F.; Natali C.; Bertolino S.; Fattorini L.; Fedele E.; Foggi B.; Martini M.; Pisani C.; Riga F.; Sgarlata A.; Ciofi C.; Zaccaroni M.. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - ELETTRONICO. - 9:(2019), pp. 14124-1-14124-11. [10.1038/s41598-019-50676-1]

Assessment of seasonal variation of diet composition in rodents using DNA barcoding and Real-Time PCR

Dell'Agnello F.;FEDELE, ETTORE;Foggi B.;Riga F.;SGARLATA, ANTONINO;Ciofi C.;Zaccaroni M.
2019

Abstract

The study of animal diet and feeding behaviour is a fundamental tool for the illustration of the ecological role of species in the ecosystem. However, size and quality of food intake samples make it hard for researchers to describe the diet composition of many small species. In our study, we exploited genomic tools for the analysis of the diet composition of the Savi's pine vole (Microtus savii) using DNA barcoding and qPCR techniques for the identification of ingested plant species retrieved from stomach contents. In contrast with previous studies, we found that, despite being a fossorial species, the Savi's pine vole is a selective feeder that undergoes intense superficial activity in search for food. In addition, our study shows that with a a priori knowledge of the candidate plant species included in animal diet, qPCR is a powerful tool to assess presence/absence, frequency of occurrence and electivity of ingested species. We conclude that this approach offers new opportunities to implement the analysis of food selection in small animals, thereby revealing a detailed picture of plant-animal interactions.
2019
9
14124-1
14124-11
Dell'Agnello F.; Natali C.; Bertolino S.; Fattorini L.; Fedele E.; Foggi B.; Martini M.; Pisani C.; Riga F.; Sgarlata A.; Ciofi C.; Zaccaroni M.
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1174490
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