One of the goals of the Human Microbiome Project is to sequence 1,000 microbial genomes. Although the number of microbial species associated with the human body is predicted to be many times this number, these genome sequences will establish a valuable benchmark for understanding microbial communities and will enable more complex metagenomic studies.
These genome sequences represent five broad environments of the human body:
The gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts
The airways (nasal, pharyngeal, and lung)
Within each body environment, microbial strains are selected based on phylogenetic diversity, clinical importance, abundance within the body site, and significance for understanding genetic diversity within a species.
The Human Microbiome Project seeks to provide a valuable resource to the scientific community and is actively seeking input on the selection of important strains for whole genome sequencing.
The organisms currently being sequenced at the Broad Institute are listed below.