During evolution, humans have always been accompanied by gut bacteria that make up their microbiome.

LChicken Homo sapiens left Africa, they took their tiny friends with them.

A new study (link below) reveals that these same friends, gut bacteria, have evolved or “co-diversified” with us over the past 200,000 years.

In addition to helping us to know ourselves better, this new research should also provide more insight into the treatment of microbiome-related diseases or the development of new therapies.

The study (link below) examined the differences and similarities between our closest bacterial friends in 1,225 people living around the world. The group discovered 59 bacterial species and a Archaeon (Archaea*), which evolved together with humans.

* Archaea is a domain of single-celled organisms that were originally thought to be bacteria but are now known to be more closely related eukaryotesMulticellular organisms like us.

The human gut microbiome contains hundreds of species of bacteria, and many of the most important species are found in humans around the world, explains Andrew Moeller, an evolutionary biologist at Cornell University (US), in an article accompanying the study.

Gut bacterial communities are not random collections of bacteria, but rather a reflection of the distinct ancestries of human populations.

However, within microbial species, some strains can show remarkable genetic diversity among specific human populations. It is not yet known whether this diversity is the result of a shared evolutionary history of humans and their microbes.

Microbiologist Taichi Suzuki of the Max Planck Institute for Biology (Germany) and his team evaluated 1,225 people living in Gabon, Vietnam and Germany and found 60 microbial strains with evolutionary histories that indicate co-diversification. .

These two phylogenetic trees of human participants (left) and bacterial species (right) closely match each other, indicating that they may have diversified together during evolution. (Suzuki et al. Science Volume 377)

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The team also found that the species with the highest co-diversification also independently evolved traits such as oxygen and temperature intolerance and shrinking their genomes, meaning “they are definitely with us, also known as host dependence.”Attitude of the host).

According to the group in their new study:

The list of microbiome-related human health problems ranges from malnutrition to allergies and cardiovascular disease.

Awareness of differences in gut microbial strains between populations has already led to the idea that probiotics intended to treat malnutrition should be local.

The microbiome is a therapeutic target for personalized medicine, and our results highlight the importance of a population-specific approach to microbiome-based therapy.

The study was published in Science: Codiversification of gut microbiota with humans, and the researchers present their work in The Conversation: Humans have evolved with their microbiomes – like genes, your gut microbes are passed down from one generation to the next.

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