The human gut microbiome is home to many different types of small bacteria which help the human system function. These intestinal bacteria hold millions of genes that assist with human metabolic function. However, over time scientist have become more interested in the interaction between these bacteria and the human system in regards to diseases that they may prevent through their creation of micronutrients. The most common of these micronutrients are B-vitamins. These B-vitamins specifically, B-1,2,3,5,6,7,9, and 12 are all produced by the bacteria in the human gut microbiome. Along with queuine, these micronutrients allow the gut microbiomes to grow and assist in human bodily functions. In the study lead by Andrei Osterman, the goal was to investigate these microbiomes more and their influence on the human body through their creation of micronutrients.
The scientists on the study’s first objective was to determine the way that the microbiomes created their micronutrients. There are two methods in which the microbiomes can produces these vitamins, de novo or dependent. The ones that produce it de novo mean that they create with own micronutrients through their own process, while the others are dependent on the micronutrients of other microbiomes either older ones or ones close in distance to it. This idea brought about the question as to do the two types of microbiomes compete for these resources or do they coexist. Surprisingly, through research, the scientists discovered that the two types of microbiomes actual peacefully coexist and cooperate in the sharing of the resources. Instead of the dependent microbiomes stealing from the de novo ones, they actually understand the importance of their providers and work with them in return for their micronutrients.
This fact of the peaceful coexistence between the two types of microbiomes then caused Osterman and his team to wonder how the de novo microbiomes are able to distribute the vitamins to both the dependent microbiomes and its human host. To learn more about this process, the researchers looked at the genome of the two different types of microbiomes and marked them separately. The de novo type was given a variant code “P” which stood for prototrophic and the others were given a variant code “A” for auxotrophic. These two codes help them distinguish between the different types of microbiomes and their district pathways. It was discovered that the pathway that the auxotrophic microbiomes used to receive nutrients was called the downstream pathway. This pathway is a flow of vitamins from the phototrophic microbiomes downstream into an area in which the auxotrophic microbiomes can uptake the food.
As the scientists learned more about the pathways in between the different types of microbiomes, they also discovered that some of their original predictions were incorrect. While they believed to have discovered through the phenotype which microbiome was de novo and dependent, with more information on the subject, they began to see the flaw in their original thinking. They discovered that some of the predetermined microbiomes actually were both part de novo and dependent. They had a place to create micronutrients while having downstream pathways to receive it.
Through their research, Osterman and his team were able to discover facts about the way the human gut microbiomes transfer and create nutrients and vitamins to transport to other microbiomes and the human host itself. While very important to our bodies, it is strange to think about the different types of bacteria living in ourselves and their over microbiomes that they have within us. Please feel free to comment your ideas regarding the whole entire world that lives within ourselves in septic our human gut microbiomes.