Commenced in January 2007
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Habitat-Specific Divergences in the Gene Repertoire among the Reference Prevotella Genomes of the Human Microbiome

Authors: Vinod Kumar Gupta, Narendrakumar M. Chaudhari, Suchismitha Iskepalli, Chitra Dutta

Abstract:

Background-The community composition of the human microbiome is known to vary at distinct anatomical niches. But little is known about the nature of variations if any, at the genome/sub-genome levels of a specific microbial community across different niches. The present report aims to explore, as a case study, the variations in gene repertoire of 28 Prevotella reference draft genomes derived from different body-sites of human, as reported earlier by the Human Microbiome Consortium. Results-The analysis reveals the exclusive presence of 11798, 3673, 3348 and 934 gene families and exclusive absence of 17, 221, 115 and 645 gene families in Prevotella genomes derived from the human oral cavity, gastro-intestinal tracts (GIT), urogenital tract (UGT) and skin, respectively. The pan-genome for Prevotella remains “open”. Distribution of various functional COG categories differs appreciably among the habitat-specific genes, within Prevotella pan-genome and between the GIT-derived Bacteroides and Prevotella. The skin and GIT isolates of Prevotella are enriched in singletons involved in Signal transduction mechanisms, while the UGT and oral isolates show higher representation of the Defense mechanisms category. No niche-specific variations could be observed in the distribution of KEGG pathways. Conclusion-Prevotella may have developed distinct genetic strategies for adaptation to different anatomical habitats through selective, niche-specific acquisition and elimination of suitable gene-families. In addition, individual microorganisms tend to develop their own distinctive adaptive stratagems through large repertoires of singletons. Such in situ, habitat-driven refurbishment of the genetic makeup can impart substantial intra-lineage genome diversity within the microbes without perturbing their general taxonomic heritage.

Keywords: body niche adaptation, human microbiome, pangenome, Prevotella

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