Scientists Create World’s Largest Collection of Sequenced Gut Bacteria

Scientists Create World’s Largest Collection of Sequenced Gut Bacteria
An international research team has sequenced and archived the world’s most comprehensive collection of human gut bacteria, identifying a total of 105 new species of bacteria that naturally populate the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This new bacteria "data center" will allow future researchers to more easily identify and study the role of individual bacterial species across a variety of intestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study, “A human gut bacterial genome and culture collection for improved metagenomic analyses,” was published in the journal Nature Biotechnology. The human GI tract is populated by a diverse and constantly changing group of microorganisms, also known as the gut microbiome, which is mainly made up of different types of bacteria. Still other microorganisms such as viruses and fungi also reside there. Imbalances in the levels of these different organisms in the gut, particularly bacteria, have been shown to contribute to the development of different diseases such as IBD. To identify microbial species within the GI tract, researchers often use a method called metagenomic sequencing. This method allows the sequencing of genetic information (DNA content) from mixed samples of several gut bacteria. However, this technique is often unable to differentiate between bacterial species or strains that are similar to each other, making it difficult to identify and research the roles of individual bacterial species in disease. Because of the technical limitations of sequencing, there is still a lot that isn't known regarding the different bacterial species that reside in the gut. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Australia, and EMBL’s European Bioi
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