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BMC Biol. 2017 Dec 27;15(1):127. doi: 10.1186/s12915-017-0454-7.

The human microbiome in evolution.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
2
Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
3
Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA.
4
Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. robknight@ucsd.edu.
5
Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. robknight@ucsd.edu.
6
Center for Microbiome Innovation, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. robknight@ucsd.edu.

Abstract

The trillions of microbes living in the gut-the gut microbiota-play an important role in human biology and disease. While much has been done to explore its diversity, a full understanding of our microbiomes demands an evolutionary perspective. In this review, we compare microbiomes from human populations, placing them in the context of microbes from humanity's near and distant animal relatives. We discuss potential mechanisms to generate host-specific microbiome configurations and the consequences of disrupting those configurations. Finally, we propose that this broader phylogenetic perspective is useful for understanding the mechanisms underlying human-microbiome interactions.

KEYWORDS:

Codiversification; Evolution; Habitat filtering; Microbiome; Transmission

PMID:
29282061
PMCID:
PMC5744394
DOI:
10.1186/s12915-017-0454-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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