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Cell Host Microbe DOI:10.1016/j.chom.2019.03.007

Adaptive Evolution within Gut Microbiomes of Healthy People.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsZhao, S, Lieberman, TD, Poyet, M, Kauffman, KM, Gibbons, SM, Groussin, M, Xavier, RJ, Alm, EJ
JournalCell Host Microbe
Date Published2019 Apr 16

Natural selection shapes bacterial evolution in all environments. However, the extent to which commensal bacteria diversify and adapt within the human gut remains unclear. Here, we combine culture-based population genomics and metagenomics to investigate the within-microbiome evolution of Bacteroides fragilis. We find that intra-individual B. fragilis populations contain substantial de novo nucleotide and mobile element diversity, preserving years of within-person history. This history reveals multiple signatures of within-person adaptation, including parallel evolution in sixteen genes. Many of these genes are implicated in cell-envelope biosynthesis and polysaccharide utilization. Tracking evolutionary trajectories using near-daily metagenomic sampling, we find evidence for years-long coexistence in one subject despite adaptive dynamics. We used public metagenomes to investigate one adaptive mutation common in our cohort and found that it emerges frequently in Western, but not Chinese, microbiomes. Collectively, these results demonstrate that B. fragilis adapts within individual microbiomes, pointing to factors that promote long-term gut colonization.


Alternate JournalCell Host Microbe
PubMed ID31028005