Understanding the koala microbiome: unlocking the secrets of koala health and dietary specialisation, and successful husbandry and translocation (ARC Linkage Project administered by UWS) (2015–2018)
We aim to discover how the composition and function of koala gastrointestinal microbial communities differ in
space and time in response to the varying nutritional quality and chemical composition of koala diets. Using
detailed chemical analysis, cutting edge metagenomic and bioinformatic pipelines and powerful approaches
to study enzyme functions in the koala¿s gut we will reveal the role of microbes in detoxification of plant toxins
and degradation of recalcitrant fibre fractions. The outcomes will facilitate the use of faecal transplants to
improve digestive function for translocated and rehabilitated koalas, enhancing options for koala
management and conservation.