Cospeciation of gut microbiota with hominids

Andrew H. Moeller, Alejandro Caro-Quintero, Deus Mjungu, Alexander V. Georgiev, Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf, Martin N. Muller, Anne E. Pusey, Martine Peeters, Beatrice H. Hahn, Howard Ochman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

394 Scopus citations

Abstract

The evolutionary origins of the bacterial lineages that populate the human gut are unknown. Here we show that multiple lineages of the predominant bacterial taxa in the gut arose via cospeciation with humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas over the past 15 million years. Analyses of strainlevel bacterial diversitywithin hominid gutmicrobiomes revealed that clades of Bacteroidaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae have been maintained exclusively within host lineages across hundreds of thousands of host generations. Divergence times of these cospeciating gut bacteria are congruent with those ofhominids, indicating that nuclear, mitochondrial, and gut bacterial genomes diversified in concert during hominid evolution. This study identifies human gut bacteria descended from ancient symbionts that speciated simultaneously with humans and the African apes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-382
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume353
Issue number6297
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 22 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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