Investigating the Response of the Gut Bacterial Community and Enzyme Activity During the Challenge of Diet Manipulation in the Herbivorous Fish Compostoma Anomalum (Centre Stoneroller) and the Carnivorous Fish Etheostema Caeruleum (Rainbow Darter)
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Enzymes are biologically important as they are involved in metabolic processes including catabolizing macromolecules for cellular fuel production and maintaining homeostasis. The combined influence of the GIT (gastrointestinal tract) bacterial community and altered diets on the activity of enzymes has been previously postulated but not studied in depth. Therefore, a proper understanding of the contribution of the GIT bacterial community and diet towards the enzyme activity in the GIT and other tissues was required. Hence, in this thesis, I characterized the GIT bacterial communities and enzyme activates in the herbivorous C.anomalum (central stoneroller) and the carnivorous E.caeruleum (rainbow darter) for the first time. Through this thesis, I deduced that the GIT, GIT bacterial community, and GIT enzymes of both fish species each responded distinctly against the challenge of an altered diet and positively benefitted their host in maintaining an overall pinnacle digestive physiology. This response appears confined to the GIT.