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The Human Salivary Microbiome Is Shaped by Shared Environment Rather than Genetics: Evidence from a Large Family of Closely Related Individuals

Shaw, L; Ribeiro, ALR; Levine, AP; Pontikos, N; Balloux, F; Segal, AW; Roberts, AP; (2017) The Human Salivary Microbiome Is Shaped by Shared Environment Rather than Genetics: Evidence from a Large Family of Closely Related Individuals. MBio , 8 (5) , Article e01237-17. 10.1128/mBio.01237-17. Green open access

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Abstract

The human microbiome is affected by multiple factors, including the environment and host genetics. In this study, we analyzed the salivary microbiomes of an extended family of Ashkenazi Jewish individuals living in several cities and investigated associations with both shared household and host genetic similarities. We found that environmental effects dominated over genetic effects. While there was weak evidence of geographical structuring at the level of cities, we observed a large and significant effect of shared household on microbiome composition, supporting the role of the immediate shared environment in dictating the presence or absence of taxa. This effect was also seen when including adults who had grown up in the same household but moved out prior to the time of sampling, suggesting that the establishment of the salivary microbiome earlier in life may affect its long-term composition. We found weak associations between host genetic relatedness and microbiome dissimilarity when using family pedigrees as proxies for genetic similarity. However, this association disappeared when using more-accurate measures of kinship based on genome-wide genetic markers, indicating that the environment rather than host genetics is the dominant factor affecting the composition of the salivary microbiome in closely related individuals. Our results support the concept that there is a consistent core microbiome conserved across global scales but that small-scale effects due to a shared living environment significantly affect microbial community composition.IMPORTANCE Previous research shows that the salivary microbiomes of relatives are more similar than those of nonrelatives, but it remains difficult to distinguish the effects of relatedness and shared household environment. Furthermore, pedigree measures may not accurately measure host genetic similarity. In this study, we include genetic relatedness based on genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rather than pedigree measures) and shared environment in the same analysis. We quantify the relative importance of these factors by studying the salivary microbiomes in members of a large extended Ashkenazi Jewish family living in different locations. We find that host genetics plays no significant role and that the dominant factor is the shared environment at the household level. We also find that this effect appears to persist in individuals who have moved out of the parental household, suggesting that aspects of salivary microbiome composition established during upbringing can persist over a time scale of years.

Type: Article
Title: The Human Salivary Microbiome Is Shaped by Shared Environment Rather than Genetics: Evidence from a Large Family of Closely Related Individuals
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01237-17
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01237-17
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 Shaw et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Keywords: environmental microbiology, microbiome, oral microbiology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Pathology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1573595
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