1) Explain in your own words ‘phylosymbiosis’. Give the evidence from Kohl et al. for phylosymbiosis of American pikas.

2) Why does the survey of natural pika populations impede testing the phylosymbiosis hypothesis? (Hint: why do most other studies use lab populations?)

3) Define what is meant by ‘core microbiota’. Explain how the authors identified the core microbiota in this study. How many OTUs total are in the pika core microbiota? (Note: There are three parts to this question.)

4) What does it mean for the gut communities of pika to not differ in any measures of alpha diversity?

5) Authors describe Melainabacteria as ‘uncultivable’ and an ‘obligately fermentative’. Describe what these two descriptions mean.


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