Biology and Taxonomy of crAss-like Bacteriophages, the Most Abundant Virus in the Human Gut.

Journal: Cell Host & Microbe

Published: 2018-11-14

DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2018.10.002

Affiliations: 3

Authors: 10

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Research Highlight

The rich diversity of viruses in your gut bacteria

© KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

© KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

Some of the most abundant viruses in our microbiome have now been classified and can be cultured for further study.

Research on the bacteria living in the human gut has blossomed in the past decade. More recently, metagenomic studies have revealed that a bacterial virus known as crAssphage is extremely abundant in the microbiome.

Now, a team at University College Cork has sequenced the virome from 702 human faecal samples and analysed the crAss-like genomes in the samples. They identified 249 new crAss-like phages, which were classified into four subfamilies containing ten genera.

The researchers also propagated a crAss-like phage in faecal cultures and captured electron micrographs of crAss-like phages, providing insight into their morphology.

These findings reveal the diversity of crAss-like phages, but future studies are needed to refine and expand their taxonomy and understand their biological significance.

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  1. Cell Host & Microbe 24, 653–664 (2018). doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2018.10.002
Institutions FC
APC Microbiome Institute, UCC, Ireland 0.73
School of Microbiology, UCC, Ireland 0.18
Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Ireland 0.08

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