Diversity in the gut

Credit: © Scimat / Photo Researchers, Inc." /> Credit: © Scimat / Photo Researchers, Inc. The paper: P.B. Eckburg et al., "Diversity of the human intestinal microbial flora," Science, 308:1635-8, 2005. (Cited in 158 papers) The finding: David Relman from Stanford University and colleagues sequenced more than 13,000 ribosomal RNA genes from microbial populations in the gut tissue and feces of three adult humans. "In some ways, thi

Kelly Rae Chi
Oct 1, 2007
<figcaption> Credit: © Scimat / Photo Researchers, Inc.</figcaption>
Credit: © Scimat / Photo Researchers, Inc.

The paper:

P.B. Eckburg et al., "Diversity of the human intestinal microbial flora," Science, 308:1635-8, 2005. (Cited in 158 papers)

The finding:

David Relman from Stanford University and colleagues sequenced more than 13,000 ribosomal RNA genes from microbial populations in the gut tissue and feces of three adult humans. "In some ways, this was just an environmental survey asking 'who's there?' in the gut," because previous cultivation-based methods were "not sensitive enough," Relman says. Of the 395 bacterial phylotypes identified, about 80% represented sequences from species that had never been cultivated from human intestinal flora.

Why it was cited:

This study showed "that there are many more bacteria [in the gut] than we had previously known," says Balakrishnan Ramakrishna of Christian Medical College in Vellore, India. Martin Blaser of New York University says he found the statistical methods in the paper useful...

The numbers:

Effects of PD-1 blockade
Analyzed: 11,831 bacterial and 1524 archaeal sequences
Found: 395 bacterial phylotypes, 1 archaeal phylotype
Categorized: 301 phylotypes from Firmicutes phylum 65 phylotypes from Bacteroidetes phylum