Illustration of the approach to human gut mcicrobiome research at NFML
Illustration of the approach to human gut mcicrobiome research at NFML

Inside the human gut resides over 100 trillion microbial cells. This community of microbes is comprised of mostly bacteria and collectively serves as a functional extension of the host genome by contributing upto 100 fold more genes than the host's total number of genes. The microbially coded enzymes play crucial roles in metabolism of the host by mostly breaking down food components inaccessible to the host's pool of digestive enzymes. This in turn impacts the host's health. Because of this, studies on either bacteria isolated from the human gut, sets or entire community of the microbes in the gut have received a special focus in nutrition and microbiology research. This has been partly driven by advancement in DNA sequencing technologies and various bioinformatic approaches in the last few decades. At NFML, we conduct research on the human gut microbiome using both isolated strains and microbial communities . For this we employ both genomic and metagenomic approaches. This yields important insights into the structuring and functional relations of the billions of microbes residing in us. Our current focus is the exploration of the impact of both known and novel prebiotics on the human gut microbiota composition and functioning. To advance our research on this we have recently acquired Pacbio's long read sequencing system(Sequel iie system).

Research output:

  1. Proteomic analysis of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis reveals the metabolic insight on consumption of prebiotics and host glycans. PLoS One 2013, 8(2):e57535.
  2. Human milk oligosaccharides: the novel modulator of intestinal microbiota. BMB Reports 2012, 45(8):433-441. 
  3. Genome analysis of Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010 reveals metabolic pathways for host-derived glycan foraging. Proceedings of the  National Academy of Sciences USA 2010, 107(45):19514-19519.
  4. The genome sequence of Bifidobacterium longum subsp infantis reveals adaptations for milk utilization within the infant microbiome. Proceedings of the  National Academy of Sciences USA 2008,105(48):18964-18969.