diet analysis

Nanopore sequencing of metagenomic DNA from rat stomach contents to infer diet

Accurate determination of animal diets is difficult. Methods such as molecular barcoding or metagenomics offer a promising approach allowing quantitative and sensitive detection of different taxa. Here we show that rapid and inexpensive quantification of animal, plant, and fungal content from stomach contents is possible through metagenomic sequencing with the portable Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) MinION. Using an amplification-free approach, we profile the stomach contents from 24 wild-caught rats.

Invasive rodents, an overlooked threat for skinks in a tropical island hotspot of biodiversity

Squamata are one of the most threatened groups among island vertebrates, facing high pressure from exotic species. However, the contribution of small terrestrial reptiles in invasive rodents’ diet remains poorly investigated, partly because of the lack of tools for accurately identifying chewed prey fragments in gut contents. The New Caledonia archipelago (South Pacific) hosts an exceptional terrestrial squamata fauna (105 species, 91.6% endemic) that are faced with many invasive species (rodents, feral cats, feral pigs, ants) and strong human pressures.