The seasonal changes of the gut microbiome of the population living in traditional lifestyles are represented by characteristic species-level and functional-level SNP enrichment patterns

Xue Zhu, Jiyue Qin, Chongyang Tan, Kang Ning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Most studies investigating human gut microbiome dynamics are conducted on humans living in an urban setting. However, few studies have researched the gut microbiome of the populations living traditional lifestyles. These understudied populations are arguably better subjects in answering human-gut microbiome evolution because of their lower exposure to antibiotics and higher dependence on natural resources. Hadza hunter-gatherers in Tanzania have exhibited high biodiversity and seasonal patterns in their gut microbiome composition at the family level, where some taxa disappear in one season and reappear later. Such seasonal changes have been profiled, but the nucleotide changes remain unexplored at the genome level. Thus, it is still elusive how microbial communities change with seasonal changes at the genome level. Results: In this study, we performed a strain-level single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis on 40 Hadza fecal metagenome samples spanning three seasons. With more SNP presented in the wet season, eight prevalent species have significant SNP enrichment with the increasing number of SNP calling by VarScan2, among which only three species have relatively high abundances. Eighty-three genes have the most SNP distributions between the wet season and dry season. Many of these genes are derived from Ruminococcus obeum, and mainly participated in metabolic pathways including carbon metabolism, pyruvate metabolism, and glycolysis. Conclusions: Eight prevalent species have significant SNP enrichments with the increasing number of SNP, among which only Eubacterium biforme, Eubacterium hallii and Ruminococcus obeum have relatively high species abundances. Many genes in the microbiomes also presented characteristic SNP distributions between the wet season and the dry season. This implies that the seasonal changes might indirectly impact the mutation patterns for specific species and functions for the gut microbiome of the population that lives in traditional lifestyles through changing the diet in wet and dry seasons, indicating the role of these variants in these species’ adaptation to the changing environment and diets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number83
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gut microbiome
  • Seasonal change
  • SNP enrichment
  • Traditional lifestyle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics

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