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Trends Microbiol. 2014 May;22(5):267-74. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2014.03.001. Epub 2014 Mar 31.

Phylogeny, culturing, and metagenomics of the human gut microbiota.

Author information

1
Microbiology Group, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen, AB21 9SB, UK.
2
Microbiology Group, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen, AB21 9SB, UK. Electronic address: h.flint@abdn.ac.uk.

Abstract

The human intestinal tract is colonised by a complex community of microbes, which can have major impacts on host health. Recent research on the gut microbiota has largely been driven by the advent of modern sequence-based techniques, such as metagenomics. Although these are powerful and valuable tools, they have limitations. Traditional culturing and phylogeny can mitigate some of these limitations, either by expanding reference databases or by assigning functionality to specific microbial lineages. As such, culture and phylogeny will continue to have crucially important roles in human microbiota research, and will be required for the development of novel therapeutics.

KEYWORDS:

bacterial cultivation; human gut microbiota; metagenomics; phylogeny; single-cell genomics

PMID:
24698744
DOI:
10.1016/j.tim.2014.03.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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