The microbiome continues to be an important topic in both human health research and in popular culture. The microbiome is cited as a factor in multiple diseases, neurological conditions, and immune responses to foreign pathogens. Specific compositions of gut commensal bacteria have been associated with an increased incidence of depression, varying responses to immunotherapies, and the progression of neurodegenerative disease through the gut-brain axis.
A recent article in Cell Reports demonstrates how polymorphic host genes shape the intestinal microbiota. Mice that were colonized with a given composition of microbiota (the “input”) were allowed to produce G1 offspring, whose resulting microbiomes were sequenced to determine the “output”. This multi-faceted study analyzes how host genetics influence the output microbiota in genetically-identical and genetically-diverse mouse models.
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