Rxivist logo

Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 65,255 bioRxiv papers from 289,103 authors.

Proteobacteria drive significant functional variability in the human gut microbiome

By Patrick H Bradley, Katherine S Pollard

Posted 02 Jun 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/056614

While human gut microbiomes vary significantly in taxonomic composition, biological pathway abundance is surprisingly invariable across hosts. We hypothesized that healthy microbiomes appear functionally redundant due to factors that obscure differences in gene abundance across hosts. To account for these biases, we developed a powerful test of gene variability, applicable to shotgun metagenomes from any environment. Our analysis of healthy stool metagenomes reveals thousands of genes whose abundance differs significantly between people consistently across studies, including glycolytic enzymes, lipopolysaccharide biosynthetic genes, and secretion systems. Even housekeeping pathways contain a mix of variable and invariable genes, though most deeply conserved genes are significantly invariable. Variable genes tend to be associated with Proteobacteria, as opposed to taxa used to define enterotypes or the dominant phyla Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. These results establish limits on functional redundancy and predict specific genes and taxa that may drive physiological differences between gut microbiomes.

Download data

  • Downloaded 1,246 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 5,177 out of 65,255
    • In bioinformatics: 1,000 out of 6,459
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 48,993 out of 65,255
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 39,198 out of 65,255

Altmetric data

Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide

Sign up for the Rxivist weekly newsletter! (Click here for more details.)