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      Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome.

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          Abstract

          Our knowledge of species and functional composition of the human gut microbiome is rapidly increasing, but it is still based on very few cohorts and little is known about variation across the world. By combining 22 newly sequenced faecal metagenomes of individuals from four countries with previously published data sets, here we identify three robust clusters (referred to as enterotypes hereafter) that are not nation or continent specific. We also confirmed the enterotypes in two published, larger cohorts, indicating that intestinal microbiota variation is generally stratified, not continuous. This indicates further the existence of a limited number of well-balanced host-microbial symbiotic states that might respond differently to diet and drug intake. The enterotypes are mostly driven by species composition, but abundant molecular functions are not necessarily provided by abundant species, highlighting the importance of a functional analysis to understand microbial communities. Although individual host properties such as body mass index, age, or gender cannot explain the observed enterotypes, data-driven marker genes or functional modules can be identified for each of these host properties. For example, twelve genes significantly correlate with age and three functional modules with the body mass index, hinting at a diagnostic potential of microbial markers.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Towards the human intestinal microbiota phylogenetic core.

          The paradox of a host specificity of the human faecal microbiota otherwise acknowledged as characterized by global functionalities conserved between humans led us to explore the existence of a phylogenetic core. We investigated the presence of a set of bacterial molecular species that would be altogether dominant and prevalent within the faecal microbiota of healthy humans. A total of 10 456 non-chimeric bacterial 16S rRNA sequences were obtained after cloning of PCR-amplified rDNA from 17 human faecal DNA samples. Using alignment or tetranucleotide frequency-based methods, 3180 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were detected. The 16S rRNA sequences mainly belonged to the phyla Firmicutes (79.4%), Bacteroidetes (16.9%), Actinobacteria (2.5%), Proteobacteria (1%) and Verrumicrobia (0.1%). Interestingly, while most of OTUs appeared individual-specific, 2.1% were present in more than 50% of the samples and accounted for 35.8% of the total sequences. These 66 dominant and prevalent OTUs included members of the genera Faecalibacterium, Ruminococcus, Eubacterium, Dorea, Bacteroides, Alistipes and Bifidobacterium. Furthermore, 24 OTUs had cultured type strains representatives which should be subjected to genome sequence with a high degree of priority. Strikingly, 52 of these 66 OTUs were detected in at least three out of four recently published human faecal microbiota data sets, obtained with very different experimental procedures. A statistical model confirmed these OTUs prevalence. Despite the species richness and a high individual specificity, a limited number of OTUs is shared among individuals and might represent the phylogenetic core of the human intestinal microbiota. Its role in human health deserves further study.
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            Complex Glycan Catabolism by the Human Gut Microbiota: The Bacteroidetes Sus-like Paradigm*

            Trillions of microbes inhabit the distal gut of adult humans. They have evolved to compete efficiently for nutrients, including a wide array of chemically diverse, complex glycans present in our diets, secreted by our intestinal mucosa, and displayed on the surfaces of other gut microbes. Here, we review how members of the Bacteroidetes, one of two dominant gut-associated bacterial phyla, process complex glycans using a series of similarly patterned, cell envelope-associated multiprotein systems. These systems provide insights into how gut, as well as terrestrial and aquatic, Bacteroidetes survive in highly competitive ecosystems.
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              Development and application of the human intestinal tract chip, a phylogenetic microarray: analysis of universally conserved phylotypes in the abundant microbiota of young and elderly adults

              In this paper we present the in silico assessment of the diversity of variable regions of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene based on an ecosystem-specific curated database, describe a probe design procedure based on two hypervariable regions with minimal redundancy and test the potential of such probe design strategy for the design of a flexible microarray platform. This resulted in the development and application of a phylogenetic microarray for studying the human gastrointestinal microbiota – referred as the human intestinal tract chip (HITChip). Over 4800 dedicated tiling oligonucleotide probes were designed based on two hypervariable regions of the SSU rRNA gene of 1140 unique microbial phylotypes (< 98% identity) following analysis of over 16 000 human intestinal SSU rRNA sequences. These HITChip probes were hybridized to a diverse set of human intestinal samples and SSU rRNA clones to validate its fingerprinting and quantification potential. Excellent reproducibility (median Pearson's correlation of 0.99) was obtained following hybridization with T7 polymerase transcripts generated in vitro from SSU rRNA gene amplicons. A linear dose–response was observed with artificial mixtures of 40 different representative amplicons with relative abundances as low as 0.1% of total microbiota. Analysis of three consecutively collected faecal samples from ten individuals (five young and five elderly adults) revealed temporal dynamics and confirmed that the adult intestinal microbiota is an individual-specific and relatively stable ecosystem. Further analysis of the stable part allowed for the identification of a universal microbiota core at the approximate genus level (90% sequence similarity). This core consists of members of Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Used as a phylogenetic fingerprinting tool with the possibility for relative quantification, the HITChip has the potential to bridge the gaps in our knowledge in the quantitative and qualitative description of the human gastrointestinal microbiota composition.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Nature
                1476-4687
                0028-0836
                May 12 2011
                : 473
                : 7346
                Affiliations
                [1 ] European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.
                Article
                nature09944 EMS52942
                10.1038/nature09944
                3728647
                21508958

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