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      Archaea: Essential inhabitants of the human digestive microbiota

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      Human Microbiome Journal

      Elsevier BV

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          Towards a natural system of organisms: proposal for the domains Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya.

          Molecular structures and sequences are generally more revealing of evolutionary relationships than are classical phenotypes (particularly so among microorganisms). Consequently, the basis for the definition of taxa has progressively shifted from the organismal to the cellular to the molecular level. Molecular comparisons show that life on this planet divides into three primary groupings, commonly known as the eubacteria, the archaebacteria, and the eukaryotes. The three are very dissimilar, the differences that separate them being of a more profound nature than the differences that separate typical kingdoms, such as animals and plants. Unfortunately, neither of the conventionally accepted views of the natural relationships among living systems--i.e., the five-kingdom taxonomy or the eukaryote-prokaryote dichotomy--reflects this primary tripartite division of the living world. To remedy this situation we propose that a formal system of organisms be established in which above the level of kingdom there exists a new taxon called a "domain." Life on this planet would then be seen as comprising three domains, the Bacteria, the Archaea, and the Eucarya, each containing two or more kingdoms. (The Eucarya, for example, contain Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, and a number of others yet to be defined). Although taxonomic structure within the Bacteria and Eucarya is not treated herein, Archaea is formally subdivided into the two kingdoms Euryarchaeota (encompassing the methanogens and their phenotypically diverse relatives) and Crenarchaeota (comprising the relatively tight clustering of extremely thermophilic archaebacteria, whose general phenotype appears to resemble most the ancestral phenotype of the Archaea.
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            Archaea and Fungi of the Human Gut Microbiome: Correlations with Diet and Bacterial Residents

            Diet influences health as a source of nutrients and toxins, and by shaping the composition of resident microbial populations. Previous studies have begun to map out associations between diet and the bacteria and viruses of the human gut microbiome. Here we investigate associations of diet with fungal and archaeal populations, taking advantage of samples from 98 well-characterized individuals. Diet was quantified using inventories scoring both long-term and recent diet, and archaea and fungi were characterized by deep sequencing of marker genes in DNA purified from stool. For fungi, we found 66 genera, with generally mutually exclusive presence of either the phyla Ascomycota or Basiodiomycota. For archaea, Methanobrevibacter was the most prevalent genus, present in 30% of samples. Several other archaeal genera were detected in lower abundance and frequency. Myriad associations were detected for fungi and archaea with diet, with each other, and with bacterial lineages. Methanobrevibacter and Candida were positively associated with diets high in carbohydrates, but negatively with diets high in amino acids, protein, and fatty acids. A previous study emphasized that bacterial population structure was associated primarily with long-term diet, but high Candida abundance was most strongly associated with the recent consumption of carbohydrates. Methobrevibacter abundance was associated with both long term and recent consumption of carbohydrates. These results confirm earlier targeted studies and provide a host of new associations to consider in modeling the effects of diet on the gut microbiome and human health.
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              Obesity and the human microbiome.

               Ruth E Ley (2009)
              Obesity was once rare, but the last few decades have seen a rapid expansion of the proportion of obese individuals worldwide. Recent work has shown obesity to be associated with a shift in the representation of the dominant phyla of bacteria in the gut, both in humans and animal models. This review summarizes the latest research into the association between microbial ecology and host adiposity, and the mechanisms by which microbes in the gut may mediate host metabolism in the context of obesity. Studies of the effect of excess body fat on the abundances of different bacteria taxa in the gut generally show alterations in the gastrointestinal microbiota, and changes during weight loss. The gastrointestinal microbiota have been shown to impact insulin resistance, inflammation, and adiposity via interactions with epithelial and endocrine cells. Large-scale alterations of the gut microbiota and its microbiome (gene content) are associated with obesity and are responsive to weight loss. Gut microbes can impact host metabolism via signaling pathways in the gut, with effects on inflammation, insulin resistance, and deposition of energy in fat stores. Restoration of the gut microbiota to a healthy state may ameliorate the conditions associated with obesity and help maintain a healthy weight.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Human Microbiome Journal
                Human Microbiome Journal
                Elsevier BV
                24522317
                March 2017
                March 2017
                : 3
                :
                : 1-8
                Article
                10.1016/j.humic.2016.11.005
                © 2017

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