Navigation Links
My microbes

We all have E.coli bacteria in our gut but each of us carries a version that is genetically slightly different. The same can be said of most gut microbes: our own gut metagenome, that is the sum of all the genomes of all our gut microbes, appears to be really specific to each of us, and to remain stable over time. For the first time, researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have studied this metagenome at such a high resolution that individual mutations in the various strains could be analysed. Their findings, published today in Nature, could have widespread consequences in medicine: gut microbes are known to be essential for functions as vital as digesting food or providing vitamins, but can also be involved in diseases if they carry certain mutations.

The scientists analysed the gut metagenome of 207 individuals from Europe and the USA, matching more than 7 billion pieces of DNA (of 100 lettres each) to the genomes of our most abundant gut microbial species. "This large scale analysis showed that, at least when healthy, we carry a unique set of bacterial strains and their mutations in our gut, over a long time," explains Peer Bork who led the study at EMBL. "It is like a second genetic signature, but one that probably does not come from our parents but that we acquire from the environment in early childhood."

When comparing the specific mutations from the same individual over time, the researchers found that the metagenome remains stable for at least one year, and probably much longer when the individuals are healthy. Results also show that there is only little geographic difference when comparing metagenomes of European with North-American individuals. This indicates that gradual adaptation is possible.

For each individual, approximately 6 billion DNA letters of their gut metagenome have been analysed, many more than the 3.3 billion DNA letters of human DNA that we inherit from each of our parents. These 6 billion DNA letters belong to hundreds of microbes, each with thousands of different strains: mapping each DNA fragment of the metagenome to its right place, in the right bacterial genome, is extremely complex. To achieve this breakthrough and carry the analysis down to the single DNA letter, scientists had to develop various new computational methods. In the current study more than 10 million mutations have been detected in the 207 individuals.

All these detailed data is now stored in public databases, such as dbSNP, freely available to the scientific community. These findings could lead to the development of new approaches in the identification of gut diseases, pathogens, or antibiotic resistance. On the longer term, they may also open new avenues for personalised therapies.

Contact: Isabelle Kling
European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Related biology news :

1. Ancient microbes found living beneath the icy surface of Antarctic lake
2. UIC scientists find ancient microbes in salty, ice-sealed Antarctic lake
3. Microbes help hyenas communicate via scent
4. Microbes, sponges, and worms add to coral reef woes
5. Roots and microbes: Bringing a complex underground ecology into the lab
6. Microbes make clean methane
7. Stanford-Penn State scientists use microbes to make clean methane
8. MBL scientists to explore hidden realm of microbes, viruses beneath the ocean floor
9. Gut microbes battle a common set of viruses shared by global populations
10. Waves of Berkeley Lab responders deploy omics to track Deepwater Horizon cleanup microbes
11. AGU: Unique microbes found in extreme environment
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics & ... & Other Service  The latest report from ... of the global Border Security market . Visiongain ... billion in 2016. Now: In November 2015 ... and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... 2016 , a brand of ... results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables ... consumers, receptivity to a program where they would receive ... insurance company. "We were surprised to see ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... and LONDON , ... Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary ... Onegini today announced a partnership to integrate the ...      (Logo: ) ... provide their customers enhanced security to access and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young Investigator ... Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of 128 ... About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., ... the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ky. , June 23, 2016 ... two Phase 1 clinical trials of its complement ... placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies designed ... pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult ... subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose (ranging ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, ... 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to ... down 0.17%. has initiated coverage on the following equities: ... (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing their ...
Breaking Biology Technology: