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  • MILESTONES

Global human microbiome

Credit: N. Wallington / Springer Nature Limited

Genetic variation occurs between human populations living in different places, but little was known about variation in microbiomes. To investigate how gut microbiomes differ among human populations, Yatsunenko et al. characterized bacterial species in faecal samples from cohorts living in different regions, including the Amazonas of Venezuela, rural Malawi and US metropolitan areas. The authors found pronounced differences in the composition and functions in the gut microbiomes between these geographically distinct cohorts.

Further reading

Schnorr, S. L. et al. Gut microbiome of the Hadza hunter-gatherers. Nat. Commun. 5, 3654 (2014).

O’Keefe, S. J. D. et al. Fat, fibre and cancer risk in African Americans and rural Africans. Nat. Commun. 6, 6342 (2014).

Obregon-Tito, A. J. et al. Subsistence strategies in traditional societies distinguish gut microbiomes. Nat. Commun. 6, 6505 (2015).

Nishijima, S. et al. The gut microbiome of healthy Japanese and its microbial and functional uniqueness. DNA Res. 23, 125–133 (2016).

Das, B. et al. Analysis of the gut microbiome of rural and urban healthy Indians living in sea level and high-altitude areas. Sci. Rep. 8, 10104 (2018).

Pasolli, E. et al. Extensive unexplored human microbiome diversity revealed by over 150,000 genomes from metagenomes spanning age, geography, and lifestyle. Cell 176, 649–662 (2019).

Nayfach, S., Shi, Z. J., Seshadri, R., Pollard, K. S. & Kyrpides, N. Novel insights from uncultivated genomes of the global human gut microbiome. Nature https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1058-x (2019).

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