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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2016, Article ID 5304028, 7 pages
Review Article

The Microbiome of Animals: Implications for Conservation Biology

1Section of Biology and Environmental Science, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7H, 9220 Aalborg East, Denmark
2Department of Environmental Health Science and Technology, College of Health Science, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

Received 22 January 2016; Accepted 4 April 2016

Academic Editor: Philippine Vergeer

Copyright © 2016 Simon Bahrndorff et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In recent years the human microbiome has become a growing area of research and it is becoming clear that the microbiome of humans plays an important role for human health. Extensive research is now going into cataloging and annotating the functional role of the human microbiome. The ability to explore and describe the microbiome of any species has become possible due to new methods for sequencing. These techniques allow comprehensive surveys of the composition of the microbiome of nonmodel organisms of which relatively little is known. Some attention has been paid to the microbiome of insect species including important vectors of pathogens of human and veterinary importance, agricultural pests, and model species. Together these studies suggest that the microbiome of insects is highly dependent on the environment, species, and populations and affects the fitness of species. These fitness effects can have important implications for the conservation and management of species and populations. Further, these results are important for our understanding of invasion of nonnative species, responses to pathogens, and responses to chemicals and global climate change in the present and future.