Chinese and foreign researchers have successfully constructed a global microbial gene catalogue, a significant step for worldwide microbiome studies.
Microorganisms are ubiquitous on Earth. They hide in human skin, intestines, soil, rivers, and oceans and form complex microbiome communities, which affect human health, disease development, and ecological changes on Earth.
Researchers from China, Germany, Spain, the United States, and Britain constructed the most comprehensive global microbial gene catalogue to date from 13,174 publicly available metagenomes across 14 major habitats based on a global microbiome concept.
The study reveals that most genes are specific to a single habitat. The small gene fractions found in multiple habitats have antibiotic-resistance genes and markers for mobile genetic elements.
Zhao Xingming, the A1 team leader, biomedical from the Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Fudan University, said the global microbial gene catalogue plays a vital role in exploring the relationship between microorganisms and human health.
Zhao said based on the catalogue, the research team would further study the impact of microbes on the human brain’s cognition and behaviour by cooperating with domestic and foreign research institutes and clinical medical institutions.