Hybrid metagenome assemblies link carbohydrate structure with function in the human gut microbiome

Anuradha Ravi, Perla Troncoso-Rey, Jennifer Ahn-Jarvis, Kendall R. Corbin, Suzanne Harris, Hannah Harris, Alp Aydin, Gemma L. Kay, Thanh Le Viet, Rachel Gilroy, Mark J. Pallen, Andrew J. Page, Justin O’Grady, Frederick J. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Complex carbohydrates that escape small intestinal digestion, are broken down in the large intestine by enzymes encoded by the gut microbiome. This is a symbiotic relationship between microbes and host, resulting in metabolic products that influence host health and are exploited by other microbes. However, the role of carbohydrate structure in directing microbiota community composition and the succession of carbohydrate-degrading microbes, is not fully understood. In this study we evaluate species-level compositional variation within a single microbiome in response to six structurally distinct carbohydrates in a controlled model gut using hybrid metagenome assemblies. We identified 509 high-quality metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) belonging to ten bacterial classes and 28 bacterial families. Bacterial species identified as carrying genes encoding starch binding modules increased in abundance in response to starches. The use of hybrid metagenomics has allowed identification of several uncultured species with the functional potential to degrade starch substrates for future study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number932
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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