Molecular diversity of Bacteroides spp. in human fecal microbiota as determined by group-specific 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis
Bacteroides spp. represent a prominent bacterial group in human intestinal microbiota with roles in symbiosis and pathogenicity; however, the detailed composition of this group in human feces has yet to be comprehensively characterized. In this study, the molecular diversity of Bacteroides spp. in human fecal microbiota was analyzed from a seven-member, four-generation Chinese family using Bacteroides spp. group-specific 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis. A total of 549 partial 16S rRNA sequences amplified by Bacteroides spp.-specific primers were classified into 52 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) with a 99% sequence identity cut-off. Twenty-three OTUs, representing 83% of all clones, were related to 11 validly described Bacteroides species, dominated by Bacteroides coprocola, B. uniformis, and B. vulgatus. Most of the OTUs did not correspond to known species and represented hitherto uncharacterized bacteria. Relative to 16S rRNA gene universal libraries, the diversity of Bacteroides spp. detected by the group-specific libraries was much higher than previously described. Remarkable inter-individual differences were also observed in the composition of Bacteroides spp. in this family cohort. The comprehensive observation of molecular diversity of Bacteroides spp. provides new insights into potential contributions of various species in this group to human health and disease.
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