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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2016 Dec;41:14-26. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2016.07.003. Epub 2016 Aug 6.

Insights into human evolution from ancient and contemporary microbiome studies.

Author information

1
Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma, 455 W. Lindsey St., Norman, OK 73019, USA.
2
Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, University of Oklahoma, 730 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019, USA.
3
Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma, 455 W. Lindsey St., Norman, OK 73019, USA. Electronic address: christina.warinner@ou.edu.

Abstract

Over the past decade, human microbiome research has energized the study of human evolution through a complete shift in our understanding of what it means to be human. The microbiome plays a pivotal role in human biology, performing key functions in digestion, mood and behavior, development and immunity, and a range of acute and chronic diseases. It is therefore critical to understand its evolution and changing ecology through time. Here we review recent findings on the microbiota of diverse human populations, non-human primates, and past human populations and discuss the implications of this research in formulating a deeper evolutionary understanding of the human holobiont.

PMID:
27507098
PMCID:
PMC5534492
DOI:
10.1016/j.gde.2016.07.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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