The Animal Microbiome

What are microbes doing for animals?

We all contain multitudes [1], and the microbiome field has grown by leaps and bounds. Most work has been done in humans and other model animals such as mice, where conditions can be very well controlled in the lab. However animals also have their own microbiome, including those in the wild, as well as domesticated animals, which can have effects on ecology and agriculture. Dr. Sue Ishaq explains this further in her story of how she started working in the field of the microbiome, microbiology and genomics of animals, taking a few left turns along the way.


  1. I contain Multitudes (Ed Yong)
  2. Dankwa, A.S., U. Humagain, S.L. Ishaq, C.J. Yeoman, S. Clark , D.C. Beitz, and E. D. Testroet. 2021. Determination of the microbial community in the rumen and fecal matter of lactating dairy cows fed on reduced-fat dried distillers grains with solubles. Animal. July 2021
  3. Ishaq, S.L., Lachman, M.M., Wenner, B.A., Baeza, A., Butler, M., Gates, E., Olivo, S., Buono Geddes, J., Hatfield, P., Yeoman, C.J. 2019. Pelleted-hay alfalfa feed increases sheep wether weight gain and rumen bacterial richness over loose-hay alfalfa feed.  PLoS ONE 14(6): e0215797.   
  4. Ishaq, S.L., Rapp, M., Byerly, R., McClellan, L.S., O’Boyle, M.R., Nykanen, A., Fuller, P.J., Aas, C., Stone, J.M., Killpatrick, S., Uptegrove, M.M., Vischer, A., Wolf, H., Smallman, F., Eymann, H., Narode, S., Stapleton, E., Cioffi, C.C., Tavalire, H.. 2019. Framing the discussion of microorganisms as a facet of social equity in human healthPLoS Biology 17(11): e3000536. Microbiomes Across Systems special issue.  
  5. IshaqS.L., A. Hotopp, S. Silverbrand, J.E. Dumont, A. Michaud, J. MacRae, S. P. Stock, E. Groden. 2021Bacterial transfer from Pristionchus entomophagus nematodes to the invasive ant Myrmica rubra and the potential for colony mortality in coastal Maine. iScience.

© ShebaAJ, Sue Ishaq

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