The Gut Microbiota Composition in Dichorionic Triplet Sets Suggests a Role for Host Genetic Factors
O'Shea, Carol A
Ryan, C. Anthony
O'Toole, Paul W.
Ross, R Paul
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CitationMurphy K, O’ Shea CA, Ryan CA, Dempsey EM, O' Toole PW, Stanton C, et al. (2015) The Gut Microbiota Composition in Dichorionic Triplet Sets Suggests a Role for Host Genetic Factors. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0122561. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122561
AbstractMonozygotic and dizygotic twin studies investigating the relative roles of host genetics and environmental factors in shaping gut microbiota composition have produced conflicting results. In this study, we investigated the gut microbiota composition of a healthy dichorionic triplet set. The dichorionic triplet set contained a pair of monozygotic twins and a fraternal sibling, with similar pre- and post-natal environmental conditions including feeding regime. V4 16S rRNA and rpoB amplicon pyrosequencing was employed to investigate microbiota composition, and the species and strain diversity of the culturable bifidobacterial population was also examined. At month 1, the monozygotic pair shared a similar microbiota distinct to the fraternal sibling. By month 12 however, the profile was more uniform between the three infants. Principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) of the microbiota composition revealed strong clustering of the monozygotic pair at month 1 and a separation of the fraternal infant. At months 2 and 3 the phylogenetic distance between the monozygotic pair and the fraternal sibling has greatly reduced and by month 12 the monozygotic pair no longer clustered separately from the fraternal infant. Pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis of the bifidobacterial population revealed a lack of strain diversity, with identical strains identified in all three infants at month 1 and 12. The microbiota of two antibiotic-treated dichorionic triplet sets was also investigated. Not surprisingly, in both triplet sets early life antibiotic administration appeared to be a major determinant of microbiota composition at month 1, irrespective of zygosity. By month 12, early antibiotic administration appeared to no longer exert such a strong influence on gut microbiota composition. We hypothesize that initially host genetics play a significant role in the composition of an individual’s gut microbiota, unless an antibiotic intervention is given, but by month 12 environmental factors are the major determinant.
FunderDepartment of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme
Grant Number10/RD/Infantmet/MFRC/705; SFI/02/CE/B124; SFI/07/CE/B1368