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Nature. 2014 Oct 2;514(7520):59-64. doi: 10.1038/nature13786.

Biogeography and individuality shape function in the human skin metagenome.

Author information

1
Translational and Functional Genomics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
2
1] Dermatology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA [2].
3
1] Translational and Functional Genomics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA [2].

Abstract

The varied topography of human skin offers a unique opportunity to study how the body's microenvironments influence the functional and taxonomic composition of microbial communities. Phylogenetic marker gene-based studies have identified many bacteria and fungi that colonize distinct skin niches. Here metagenomic analyses of diverse body sites in healthy humans demonstrate that local biogeography and strong individuality define the skin microbiome. We developed a relational analysis of bacterial, fungal and viral communities, which showed not only site specificity but also individual signatures. We further identified strain-level variation of dominant species as heterogeneous and multiphyletic. Reference-free analyses captured the uncharacterized metagenome through the development of a multi-kingdom gene catalogue, which was used to uncover genetic signatures of species lacking reference genomes. This work is foundational for human disease studies investigating inter-kingdom interactions, metabolic changes and strain tracking, and defines the dual influence of biogeography and individuality on microbial composition and function.

PMID:
25279917
PMCID:
PMC4185404
DOI:
10.1038/nature13786
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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