Gut dysbiosis, a pathological imbalance of bacteria, has been shown to contribute to the development of hypertension (HT), systemic- and neuro-inflammation, and blood"“brain barrier (BBB) disruption in spontaneously hypertensive stroke prone rats (SHRSP). However, to date individual species that contribute to HT in the SHRSP model have not been identified. One potential reason, is that nearly all studies of the SHRSP gut microbiota have analyzed samples from rats with established HT. The goal of this study was to examine the SHRSP gut microbiota before, during, and after the onset of hypertension, and in normotensive WKY control rats over the same age range. We hypothesized that we could identify key microbes involved in the development of HT by comparing WKY and SHRSP microbiota during the pre-hypertensive state and longitudinally. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was measured by tail-cuff plethysmography and fecal microbiota analyzed by16S rRNA gene sequencing. SHRSP showed significant elevations in SBP, as compared to WKY, beginning at 8Â weeks of age (p"‰<"‰0.05 at each time point). Bacterial community structure was significantly different between WKY and SHRSP as early as 4Â weeks of age, and remained different throughout the study (p"‰="‰0.001"“0.01). At the phylum level we observed significantly reduced Firmicutes and Deferribacterota, and elevated Bacteroidota, Verrucomicrobiota, and Proteobacteria, in pre-hypertensive SHRSP, as compared to WKY. At the genus level we identified 18 bacteria whose relative abundance was significantly different in SHRSP versus WKY at the pre-hypertensive ages of 4 or 6Â weeks. In an attempt to further refine bacterial candidates that might contribute to the SHRSP phenotype, we compared the functional capacity of WKY versus SHRSP microbial communities. We identified significant differences in amino acid metabolism. Using untargeted metabolomics we found significant reductions in metabolites of the tryptophan-kynurenine pathway and increased indole metabolites in SHRSP versus WKY plasma. Overall, we provide further evidence that gut dysbiosis contributes to hypertension in the SHRSP model, and suggest for the first time the potential involvement of tryptophan metabolizing microbes.