DOI: 10.1101/501940Dec 19, 2018Paper

Drivers of human gut microbial community assembly: Coadaptation, determinism and stochasticity

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Kaitlyn OliphantEmma Allen-Vercoe

Abstract

Microbial community assembly is a complex process shaped by multiple factors, including habitat filtering, species assortment and stochasticity. Understanding the relative importance of these drivers would enable scientists to design strategies initiating a desired reassembly for e.g., remediating low diversity ecosystems. Here, we aimed to examine if a human fecal-derived defined microbial community cultured in bioreactors assembled deterministically or stochastically, by completing replicate experiments under two growth medium conditions characteristic of either high fiber or high protein diets. Then, we recreated this defined microbial community by matching different strains of the same species sourced from distinct human donors, in order to elucidate whether coadaptation of strains within a host influenced community dynamics. Each defined microbial ecosystem was evaluated for composition using marker gene sequencing, and for behaviour using 1H-NMR based metabonomics. We found that stochasticity had the largest influence on the species structure when substrate concentrations varied, whereas habitat filtering greatly impacted the metabonomic output. Evidence of coadaptation was elucidated from comparisons of the two communiti...Continue Reading

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