Andres Gomez 1,
1J. Craig Venter Institute, United States;
The concept of the holobiont considers both host and symbiotic microbes a single unit for selection in evolution. This idea suggest that the evolution process may not be fully understood without considering the role that residing microbes play in the physiologi- cal landscape of the host. Here, I show that an extensive molecular analysis of the primate gut microbiome offers a complementary view of the extrinsic and intrinsic forces that triggered human evolution. To that end, I used integrated Meta-OMICS; merging metagenomic, metabolomic and metatranscriptomics data from stool samples to reconstruct the organizational and functional com- plexity of the gut microecosystem of wild gorillas, chimpanzees and humans. This comparative framework is implemented to assess the potential impact that the gut microbiome has exerted in the genomic landscape of the host. In synthesis, these data sheds light on how, over evolutionary timescales, diet and gut microbes inter- sected to influence energy harvest and immunity, impacting the emergence of the lineage leading to humans.
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