The UNL Gut Function Initiative Andrew K BensonW.W. Marshall Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology Director, Core for Applied Genomics and Ecology Professor, Dept. of Food Science University of Nebraska
The vertebrate gut is a complex ecosystem Ecosystem components Host tissues Microbiota hundreds of trillions of bacteria Mucus layer Dietary nutrients Host Tissues Microbiota Functions: Nutrient absorption Immune education Pathogen exclusion Tissue development Tissue integrity??
Underdeveloped and Developed countries Developing countriesDiabetes CHD Obesity Allergies Colon Cancer IBD Enteric enteropathy Diarrheal diseases Inefficacy of vaccines Complex Lifestyle Diseases
The gut microbiota is also associated with complex traits in domestic animals Growth traits feed efficiencyHealth/safety traits colonization by zoonotic food pathogens
Our Support Translating discovery Into Innovation Fundamental Discovery: How does the gut ecosystem develop in individuals Key Infrastructure Host factors Microbial factors Dietary factors Microbiome analysis Translationnovel anti/pro-microbialsClinically-proven prebiotics/functional foodsanimal breeding (markers) Germ-Free Facility
Microbial factors: What makes a good gut microbe? Approach:1. Study a true gut organism2. Understand its relationship with its host
Rodent strains outcompete strains from other hosts in germ-free model Mix and Inoculate Forestomach cecum
Host genetic factors that control composition of the gut microbiota ApproachQuantitative genetic analysisof the gut microbiome as acomplex trait1. Identify host genes that control gut organisms2. New ways to encourage/discourage growth of gut organisms3. Markers for selective breeding in livestock
Intercross model645 animals at G4530 informative SNPs5.6 Million microbiome reads13 significant QTL5 suggestive QTLAll 5 major phylaMain traits = genera
MMU10 QTL Scc9 Colon tumor susceptibility QTLCoriobacteriaceae : Lactococcus Abundance GI tract QTLs that affect complex diseases Examples where our QTLs overlap known
Microbes function in complex communities…Does the host select for individual microbes or groups of microbes? Bacteriodes R>0.6 R<-0.4 Taxa with QTL ClostridiaClostridia Bacteriodes Proteobacteria Ruminococcus Rikenella Alistipes Odoribacter
Translating our discoveries into food animals:Is there genetic predisposition to shedding pathogens in the bovine?
Benson (PI)”Composition of the GI microbiotaand predisposition toenterohemorrhagic Escherichia Animalcoli (EHEC) colonization as Husbandrycomplex polygenic traits in beefcattle” STEC/EHEC Phenotyping QTL Analysis CAGE Database Gut Bovine microbiome Genotyping Phenotyping
Mucosal Immunology GI Microbiology Dan Peterson Andy Benson Jens Walter Robert Hutkins Rod Moxley Dietary fiber Food Sci Food Sci Food Sci Food Sci VBS Devin Rose Food Sci Energy metabolism Statistics and Bioinformatics Merlyn Nielson (An Sci) Steve Kachman (STATS) Larry Harshman (BioSci) Etsuko Moriyama (BioSci) Physiology and Nutrition Mouse Genomics Tim Carr Tom Burkey Metabolomics Daniel Ciobanu Daniel Pomp David Threadgill NUTR An Sci Vicki Schlegel UNL UNC NCSU Food Sci