Dr. Taichi Suzuki
Department of Microbiome Science
Max-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
Title: "Ecology and evolution of host-microbial interactions in humans and wild mice"
Abstract: Animals harbor microbial communities that provide opportunities for host-microbial coevolution. However, studying the parallel evolutionary history between hosts and microbes and selection pressures involved in their interactions remains a challenge, especially in mammalian hosts with a complex gut microbiota. Here, we analyzed paired human genotypes and bacterial strain genotypes from fecal metagenomes, obtained from five countries, and identified multiple species of adult and child gut microbes that codiversified with humans. Patterns of strain transfer between populations are generally consistent with an African origin, and suggest long-term vertical transmission over thousands of generations. In accord, we show the same strains also faithfully transmit between mothers and their children. A second line of my work uses wild house mice as a model system and explored how the microbiome contributes to host adaptation to new environments by combing both field- and lab-based approaches. I will briefly describe an ongoing selection experiment on the wild mouse microbiome and show how a selection on the microbiome alone is sufficient to shift host traits within five generations without host evolution. Together, I will discuss the role of microbiome in host ecology and evolution.
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