Chimpanzees and humans harbour compositionally similar gut enterotypes.


Journal Article

Microbes inhabiting the human gastrointestinal tract tend to adopt one of three characteristic community structures, called 'enterotypes', each of which is overrepresented by a distinct set of bacterial genera. Here we report that the gut microbiotae of chimpanzees also assort into enterotypes and that these chimpanzee enterotypes are compositionally analogous to those of humans. Through the analysis of longitudinal samples, we show that the microbial signatures of the enterotypes are stable over time, but that individual hosts switch between enterotypes over periods longer than a year. These results support the hypothesis that enterotypic variation was present in populations of great apes before the divergence of humans and chimpanzees.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moeller, AH; Degnan, PH; Pusey, AE; Wilson, ML; Hahn, BH; Ochman, H

Published Date

  • January 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 /

Start / End Page

  • 1179 -

PubMed ID

  • 23149725

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23149725

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2041-1723

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2041-1723

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/ncomms2159


  • eng