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The Human Salivary Microbiome Is Shaped by Shared Environment Rather than Genetics: Evidence from a Large Family of Closely Related Individuals

Shaw, Liam, Ribeiro, Andre L. R., Levine, Adam P, Pontikos, Nikolas, Balloux, Francois, Segal, Anthony W., Roberts, Adam ORCID: and Smith, Andrew (2017) 'The Human Salivary Microbiome Is Shaped by Shared Environment Rather than Genetics: Evidence from a Large Family of Closely Related Individuals'. mBio, Vol 8, Issue 5, e01237-17.

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The human microbiome is affected by multiple factors, including the environment and host genetics. In this study, we analyzed the oral microbiome of an extended family of Ashkenazi Jewish individuals living in several cities and investigated associations with both shared household and host genetic similarities. We found that environmental effects dominated over genetic ones. While there was weak evidence of geographic structuring at the level of cities, we observed a large and significant effect of shared household on microbiome composition, supporting the role of immediate shared environment in dictating the presence or absence of taxa. This effect was also seen when including adults who had grown up in the same household but moved out prior to the time of sampling, suggesting that the establishment of the oral microbiome earlier in life may affect its long-term composition. We found weak associations between host genetic relatedness and microbiome dissimilarity when using family pedigrees as proxies for genetic similarity. However this association disappeared when using more accurate measures of kinship based on genome-wide genetic markers, indicating that environment rather than host genetics is the dominant factor affecting the composition of the oral microbiome in closely-related individuals. Our results support the concept that there is a consistent core microbiome conserved across global scales, but that small-scale effects due to shared living environment significantly affect microbial community composition.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QT Physiology > Human Physiology > QT 104 General works
QT Physiology > Human Physiology > QT 140 Environmental exposure. Physiological adaptation
QU Biochemistry > Genetics > QU 450 General Works
QU Biochemistry > Genetics > QU 460 Genomics. Proteomics
QW Microbiology and Immunology > QW 4 General works. Classify here works on microbiology as a whole.
QZ Pathology > QZ 4 General works
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2017 11:41
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2019 09:34


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