Statistical analysis of mouse diet


Graduate School members Marie-Josée Nadeau and Ricardo Fernandes have co-authored a paper recently published in the online edition of the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” (PNAS).

Statistical analysis of mouse diet

Within one week of switching to a lab chow diet, the intestinal bacterial communities of wild house mice shift to a carbohydrate-associated enterotype.

A group of researchers headed by John Baines, Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at Kiel University and the Cluster of Excellence “Inflammation at Interfaces”, has detected that dietary changes in wild house mice are associated with quick shifts in their intestinal microbiome composition. Such changes may already be observed within a week from the time when a mouse is taken from its natural environment with a variety of different food sources to a laboratory and given a standard lab chow diet. This is of interest to the researchers as the house mouse is an important model organism to study chronic inflammatory disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.

“Indeed, wild mice display significant differences in the relative intake of carbohydrate-rich food sources according to their enterotype classification”, says Ricardo Fernandes, alumnus of the Graduate School and now a post-doctoral fellow at the Universities of Kiel and Cambridge. His contribution to the research project included interpretations of the isotopic measurements and reconstructions of the mice diet using the statistical model FRUITS (Food Reconstruction Using Isotopic Transferred Signals).

Text: Jirka N. Menke; Photo: Berit Hansen, MPI Plön