Human gut microbiome viewed across age and geography

Tanya Yatsunenko, Federico E. Rey, Mark J. Manary, Indi Trehan, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Monica Contreras, Magda Magris, Glida Hidalgo, Robert N. Baldassano, Andrey P. Anokhin, Andrew C. Heath, Barbara Warner, Jens Reeder, Justin Kuczynski, J. Gregory Caporaso, Catherine A. Lozupone, Christian Lauber, Jose Carlos Clemente, Dan Knights, Rob KnightJeffrey I. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3161 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gut microbial communities represent one source of human genetic and metabolic diversity. To examine how gut microbiomes differ among human populations, here we characterize bacterial species in fecal samples from 531 individuals, plus the gene content of 110 of them. The cohort encompassed healthy children and adults from the Amazonas of Venezuela, rural Malawi and US metropolitan areas and included mono-and dizygotic twins. Shared features of the functional maturation of the gut microbiome were identified during the first three years of life in all three populations, including age-associated changes in the genes involved in vitamin biosynthesis and metabolism. Pronounced differences in bacterial assemblages and functional gene repertoires were noted between US residents and those in the other two countries. These distinctive features are evident in early infancy as well as adulthood. Our findings underscore the need to consider the microbiome when evaluating human development, nutritional needs, physiological variations and the impact of westernization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-227
Number of pages6
JournalNature
Volume486
Issue number7402
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 14 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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    Yatsunenko, T., Rey, F. E., Manary, M. J., Trehan, I., Dominguez-Bello, M. G., Contreras, M., Magris, M., Hidalgo, G., Baldassano, R. N., Anokhin, A. P., Heath, A. C., Warner, B., Reeder, J., Kuczynski, J., Caporaso, J. G., Lozupone, C. A., Lauber, C., Clemente, J. C., Knights, D., ... Gordon, J. I. (2012). Human gut microbiome viewed across age and geography. Nature, 486(7402), 222-227. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11053