The Gut Mycobiome in Primates

photo of a gorilla sitting next to a lake, eating greenery

Researchers are continuing to learn about how the microbiome of the gut affects health. In a recent study published in the journal njp Biofilms and Microbiomes, MSI PI Andres Gomez (assistant professor, Animal Science) and colleagues from the University of Minnesota and the Czech Academy of Sciences studied the gut mycobiome - the fungal fraction of the microbiome - of primates. The study group included captive and wild nonhuman primates, and humans with three different food-source environments (urban/industrialized, traditional agriculture, and hunter-gatherer). Using fecal samples from these groups, the researchers used ITS2 and 16S rRNA sequencing to study the bacterial and fungal fractions of the primates’ microbiomes. Results showed that ecological factors such as diet influence the mycobiome more than the species of the host does; ecological factors also influence the interactions between gut fungi and bacteria; and fungi and bacteria with similar functions may interact to accomplish their roles. Some of the computational work for this study was performed using MSI resources.

A story about this paper appears on the University of Minnesota News website as a Research Brief: Study Shows Strong Influence of External Environment on Fungal Communities in the Primate Gut

The paper can be found on the journal website: Ashok K. Sharma, Sam Davison, Barbora Pafco, Jonathan B. Clayton, Jessica M. Rothman, Matthew R. McLennan, Marie Cibot, Terence Fuh, Roman Vodicka, Carolyn Jost Robinson, Klara Petrzelkova, Andres Gomez. The Primate Gut Mycobiome-Bacteriome Interface is Impacted by Environmental and Subsistence Factors. njp Biofilms and Microbiomes 8, art. no. 12 (2022). doi: 10.1038/s41522-022-00274-3.

Professor Gomez uses MSI resources to support research that involves a system-level view of microbes and host, using meta-omic techniques (metagenomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics), along with bioinformatic, machine learning, and statistical tools. Lead author Dr. Ashok Sharma was a post-doc in the Gomez group prior to moving to Cedars-Sinai and co-author Samuel Davison is a current member.

posted on July 19, 2022

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