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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2002 Jan 1;39(1):33-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2002.tb00904.x.

Assessment of microbial diversity in human colonic samples by 16S rDNA sequence analysis.

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Rowett Research Institute, Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9SB, UK.


The bacterial species diversity of three colonic tissue samples from elderly people was investigated by sequence analysis of randomly cloned eubacterial 16S rDNA. The majority of sequences (87%) clustered within three bacterial groups: (1) Bacteroides; (2) low G+C content Gram-positives related to Clostridium coccoides (cluster XIVa); (3) Gram-positives related to Clostridium leptum (cluster IV). These groups have been shown to dominate the human faecal flora. Only 25% of sequences were closely related (>97%) to current species type strains, and 28% were less than 97% related to any database entry. 19% of sequences were most closely related to recently isolated butyrate-producing bacteria belonging to clusters XIVa and IV, with a further 18% of the sequences most closely related to Ruminococcus obeum and Ruminococcus torques (members of cluster XIVa). These results provide the first molecular information on the microbial diversity present in human colonic samples.

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