We compared the fecal microbial community composition and diversity of four replicate lines of mice selectively bred for high wheel-running activity over 81 generations (HR lines) and four non-selected control lines. We performed 16S rRNA gene sequencing on fecal samples taken 24 h after weaning, identifying a total of 2074 bacterial operational taxonomic units. HR and control mice did not significantly differ for measures of alpha diversity, but HR mice had a higher relative abundance of the family Clostridiaceae. These results differ from a study of rats, where a line bred for high forced-treadmill endurance and that also ran more on wheels had lower relative abundance of Clostridiaceae, as compared with a line bred for low endurance that ran less on wheels. Within the HR and control groups, replicate lines had unique microbiomes based on unweighted UniFrac beta diversity, indicating random genetic drift and/or multiple adaptive responses to selection.

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