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A mosaic of cross-phyla chemical interactions occurs between all metazoans and their microbiomes. In humans, the gut harbors the heaviest microbial load, but many organs, particularly those with a mucosal surface, associate with highly adapted and evolved microbial consortia. The microbial residents within these organ systems are increasingly well characterized, yielding a good understanding of human microbiome composition, but we have yet to elucidate the full chemical impact the microbiome exerts on an animal and the breadth of the chemical diversity it contributes. A number of molecular families are known to be shaped by the microbiome including short-chain fatty acids, indoles, aromatic amino acid metabolites, complex polysaccharides, and host lipids; such as sphingolipids and bile acids. These metabolites profoundly affect host physiology and are being explored for their roles in both health and disease. Considering the diversity of the human microbiome, numbering over 40,000 operational taxonomic units, a plethora of molecular diversity remains to be discovered. Here, we use unique mass spectrometry informatics approaches and data mapping onto a murine 3D-model to provide an untargeted assessment of the chemical diversity between germ-free (GF) and colonized mice (specific-pathogen free, SPF), and report the finding of novel bile acids produced by the microbiome in both mice and humans that have evaded characterization despite 170 years of research on bile acid chemistry.

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