Quantifying biosynthetic network robustness across the human oral microbiome
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Citation (published version)David Bernstein, Floyd Dewhirst, Daniel Segre. 2018. "Quantifying biosynthetic network robustness across the human oral microbiome." BioRxiv, https://doi.org/10.1101/392621
Metabolic interactions, such as cross-feeding, play a prominent role in microbial communitystructure. For example, they may underlie the ubiquity of uncultivated microorganisms. We investigated this phenomenon in the human oral microbiome, by analyzing microbial metabolic networks derived from sequenced genomes. Specifically, we devised a probabilistic biosynthetic network robustness metric that describes the chance that an organism could produce a given metabolite, and used it to assemble a comprehensive atlas of biosynthetic capabilities for 88 metabolites across 456 human oral microbiome strains. A cluster of organisms characterized by reduced biosynthetic capabilities stood out within this atlas. This cluster included several uncultivated taxa and three recently co-cultured Saccharibacteria (TM7) phylum species. Comparison across strains also allowed us to systematically identify specific putative metabolic interdependences between organisms. Our method, which provides a new way of converting annotated genomes into metabolic predictions, is easily extendible to other microbial communities and metabolic products.
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