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Abstract

Accumulating evidence suggests that humans could be considered as holobionts in which the gut microbiota play essential functions. Initial metagenomic studies reported a pattern of shared genes in the gut microbiome of different individuals, leading to the definition of the minimal gut metagenome as the set of microbial genes necessary for homeostasis and present in all healthy individuals. This study analyses the minimal gut metagenome of the most comprehensive dataset available, including individuals from agriculturalist and industrialist societies, also embodying highly diverse ethnic and geographical backgrounds. The outcome, based on metagenomic predictions for community composition data, resulted in a minimal metagenome comprising 3412 genes, mapping to 1856 reactions and 128 metabolic pathways predicted to occur across all individuals. These results were substantiated by the analysis of two additional datasets describing the microbial community compositions of larger Western cohorts, as well as a substantial shotgun metagenomics dataset. Subsequent analyses showed the plausible metabolic complementarity provided by the minimal gut metagenome to the human genome.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Dirección General de Universidades e Investigación (Award PID2019-108797RB-I00)
    • Principle Award Recipient: Daniel Aguirre de Carcer
  • Dirección General de Universidades e Investigación (Award BIO2016-80101-R)
    • Principle Award Recipient: Daniel Aguirre de Carcer
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2020-11-03
2021-07-29
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