Genes influence types of microbes in human gut

Posted by: | November 7, 2023 | Comments

Microbes in the family Christensenellaceae were found to be the most heritable gut bacteria in a study of twins. Photo: Jillian L. Waters/Ley lab

A person’s genes can shape the types of microbes that reside in the human gut independent of the person’s environment, according to a Cornell-led study published Nov. 6 in the journal Cell.
The researchers examined more than 1,000 fecal samples from 416 sets of twins and identified many types of microbes, the amounts of which were influenced by a person’s genetics, with microbes in the family Christensenellaceae being the most heritable.

The study found that people with higher amounts of the gut bacteria Christensenellaceae minuta tended to be leaner, according to body mass index data of the subjects. In experiments, when live C. Minuta were added to germ-free mice without the bacteria, the mice were leaner.

Read more about the study at the Cornell Chronicle.

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