Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology | VOL. 271

Comparative digestive morphology and physiology of five species of Peromyscus under controlled environment and diet.

Publication Date Sep 1, 2022


Digestive morphology and physiology differ across animal species, with many comparative studies uncovering relationships between animal ecology or diet, and the morphology and physiology of the gastrointestinal tract. However, many of these studies compare wild-caught animals feeding on uncontrolled diets and compare broadly related taxa. Thus, few studies have disentangled the phenotypic consequences of genetics from those potentially caused by the environment, especially across closely related species that occupy similar ecological niches. Here, we examined differences in digestive morphology and physiology of five closely related species of Peromyscus mice that were captive bred under identical environmental conditions and identical diets for multiple generations. Using phylogenetic generalized least squares (PGLS) of species means to control for body size, we identified a phylogenetic signal in the mass of the foregut and length of the small intestine across species. As proportions of total gut mass, we identified phylogenetic signals in relative foregut and small intestine masses, indicating that the sizes of these structures are more similar among closely related species. Finally, we detected differences in activities of the protease aminopeptidase-N enzyme across species. Overall, we demonstrate fine-scale differences in digestive morphology and physiology among closely related species. Our results suggest that Peromyscus could provide a system for future studies to explore the interplay between natural history, morph...


Phylogenetic Generalized Least Squares Digestive Physiology Small Intestine Masses Species Of Peromyscus Uncontrolled Diets Differences In Physiology Differences In Morphology Animal Species Proportions Of Mass Length Of Intestine

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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