COVID-19 UPDATE: WEBSTORE FULLY FUNCTIONAL. COVID-19 UPDATE: WEBSTORE FULLY FUNCTIONAL.
Home / News / Gut Microbiome Members 2nd in a Series
Gut Microbiome Members 2nd in a Series

Gut Microbiome Members 2nd in a Series

GUT MICROBIOME MEMBERS

By Don Pearson, Technical Director, BioBrew Ltd

The gut microbiome contains a vast array of species and lineages.

According to Qin et. al. (2010) the gut microbes are predominantly bacteria, with at least 160 species in every person, most of them shared. There are also archaea (similar functionally to bacteria but a different lineage), fungi, viruses and phage (the viruses of bacteria).

These bacteria fall into three dominant groups groups as shown in the table below

Phylum

Representative Genera

Bacteroidetes

Bacteroides

Firmicutes

Lactobacillus

Streptococcus

Ruminococcus

Clostridium

Actinobacteria

Bifidobacterium

Adapted fromQin et al 2010


Of the bacteria in the table above the Bacteroidetes, dominated by the genus Bacteroides, are the most abundant. This group is very important for proper gut function but is difficult to culture in isolation.

The Firmicute are typically the next most abundant group. This is a very diverse group containing many of the microbes with the greatest probiotic potential, especially Lactobacillus. Clostridiumin the gut are mostly beneficial, however there are species that are pathogenic, e.g. C. difficile.

The Actinobacteria (previously Actinomyces) are dominated in the gut by Biffibobacteriumspecies. Many strains of these have been isolated and cultured for their probiotic and food processing potential.

Other bacterial phyla found in the gut are Fusobacteria, Proteobacteria and Tenericutes. These all positively and/or negatively impact on the health of the host Human.

Studies have shown negative and/or positive correlations both within and between groups at the phylum, genus and species level. The interactions are complex, diverse and only beginning to be unravelled (Qin et. al., 2010).

Qin, J., Li, R., Raes, J. et al. (2010) A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing. Nature 464, 59–65. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature08821