Knowledge of gut bacteria and links to health has existed for the last 40 years, however since the development of next generation sequencing technology, four fifths of the total number of research papers relating to gut bacteria have been written in the last four years. This represents an explosion of interest and prepares us for the advent of molecular taxonomy (see definition below). Developing technology has given us access to the type of data that previous researchers could only dream of, the question is what do we do with all this new knowledge?
Do we Ignore it? Do we Embrace it? Do we Explore it?
Since starting the Equibiome test in September 2018, one thing has become apparent, population studies (large numbers of horses) are key to understanding and interpreting the data produced, and key to understanding the contradictions and differences that exist in published papers.
The equine diet and the environment have changed completely in the last 50 years, with complex GI syndromes such as EMS and EGUS affecting a high proportion of the equine population. Without a doubt, diet and management have contributed to both, with colic, colitis and general gastro- intestinal discomfort increasing.
Since GI based syndromes and disease are likely to affect us all can we afford to ignore the developing technology that offers so much information about a large portion of the GI tract that has previously been a mystery?
If we embrace this technology we need to do so with some respect and caution for the data it produces, we need to place this new and exciting information within the safe framework of larger populations of horses.
We invite you to explore this wonderful world of the equine microbes and gain new insights into managing diet and health.
Linda Uday provides us with a definition of molecular technology.
Q. What is Molecular taxonomy?
Molecular taxonomy is the classification of organisms on the basis of the distribution and composition of chemical substances in them.
Molecular genetic methods provide taxonomy with a powerful tool to identify or describe species as they apply to all organisms and offer quantifiable characters. Molecular taxonomy is particularly effective in combination with other methods, usually with morphology.
The advent of DNA cloning and sequencing methods have contributed immensely to the development of molecular taxonomy and population genetics over the last two decades. These modern methods have revolutionalised the field of molecular taxonomy and population genetics with improved analytical power and precision.