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Ecophylogenetics Clarifies the Evolutionary Association between Mammals and Their Gut Microbiota [American Society for Microbiology]

Keywords : gut microbiome, bioinformatics, ecology, evolution, phylogeny, taxonomy

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Our knowledge of how the gut microbiome relates to mammalian evolution benefits from the identification of gut microbial taxa that are unexpectedly prevalent or unexpectedly conserved across mammals. Such taxa enable experimental determination of the traits needed for such microbes to succeed as gut generalists, as well as those traits that impact mammalian fitness. However, the punctuated resolution of microbial taxonomy may limit our ability to detect conserved gut microbes, especially in cases in which broadly related microbial lineages possess shared traits that drive their apparent ubiquity across mammals. To advance the discovery of conserved mammalian gut microbes, we developed a novel ecophylogenetic approach to taxonomy that groups microbes into taxonomic units based on their shared ancestry and their common distribution across mammals.(...)

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