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Say hello to our little friends


Our intestines are home to a numerous and diverse community of microorganisms, collectively termed the gut microbiota. This month's Genome Watch covers two papers that have characterized some of these gut symbionts.

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Figure 1: Capsule formation by Methanobrevibacter smithii.


  1. 1

    Xu, J. et al. Evolution of symbiotic bacteria in the distal human intestine. PLoS Biology 19 June 2007 (doi:10.1371/journal. pbio. 0050156).

  2. 2

    Samuel, B. S. et al. Genomic and metabolic adaptations of Methanobrevibacter smithii to the human gut. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 104, 10643–10648 (2007).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Gill, S. R. et al. Metagenomic analysis of the human distal gut microbiome. Science 312, 1355–1359 (2006).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

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Entrez Genome

YCH 46

NCTC 9343

Entrez Genome Project

Bacteroides vulgatus

Bacteroides distasonis

Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron

Porphyromonas gingivalis

Cytophaga hutchinsonii

Methanobrevibacter smithii

Methanosphaera stadtmanae


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Walker, A. Say hello to our little friends. Nat Rev Microbiol 5, 572–573 (2007).

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