The genes of the ocean microbiome are similar to those of human gut microbiota | AGÊNCIA FAPESP

By analyzing the 7.2 Tb of metagenomic data from these 243 bacterial samples, Sarmento and fellow researchers in the consortium generated an ocean microbial reference gene catalogue with more than 40 million genes. Based on the catalogue, which is publicly available on the internet for use by the scientific community free of charge, the researchers identified a core set of gene families that are the most common in marine microorganisms.

A comparison with the genes sequenced by the Human Microbiome Project and MetaHIT shows that over 73% of the functional genes in marine microorganisms are shared with the human gut microbiome, despite the physicochemical differences between these two ecosystems. “Genetic sequencing of the plankton samples collected during the expedition could result in the identification of tens of thousands of new species of bacteria, single-cell organisms and marine viruses,” Sarmento said.

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