Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Human gut bacterial genome reference

Zou, Y. et al. Nat. Biotechnol. 37, 179–185 (2019).

Forster, S. C. et al. Nat. Biotechnol. 37, 186–192 (2019).

The human gut microbiota harbors dynamic and complex populations of microorganisms that influence human health and disease. Advanced metagenomics sequencing in combination with computational tools enables analyses of genomic content and taxonomic classification of this microbiome. However, high-quality reference genomes are still needed for precise taxonomic classifications. Two recent studies independently report genome references of cultivated human gut bacteria. Zou et al. present the Culturable Genome Reference (CGR), which reports about 1,500 microbial genomes (264 new genomes) from 155 donors, representing more than 300 bacterial species. In addition, Forster et al. present the Human Gastrointestinal Bacteria Culture Collection (HBC), which provides genome references for 737 bacterial isolates, representing 168 known species and 105 novel species. Both research groups purified and cultivated bacterial isolates from human fecal samples, although they used different culturing media. The increasing number of references will improve mapping of metagenomics reads and functional characterizations.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lei Tang.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Tang, L. Human gut bacterial genome reference. Nat Methods 16, 286 (2019).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing