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Fang, Gang
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Start date
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Antibiotics use has reached enormous proportions around the world. A well-known consequence of antibioticuse is the development of bacterial antibiotic resistance. The impact of antibiotics on host and microbialfunction, on the other hand, has not been well recognized until recently. The intestinal microbiota aids the hostin metabolic and immunological development and provides beneficial functions such as vitamin production andpathogen displacement. Dysbiosis of gut microbiota is not only associated with higher risk to pathogenicmicrobes, but linked to a large number of complex diseases such as cancers and brain disorders. Despite ofthe rapid progresses being made, significant challenges still arise in the study of complex microbiomes,essentially stemming from the presence of highly similar bacterial species and strains with complex genomes.A fundamental limitation of all existing metagenomics methods, represented by the widely used 16S rRNAsequencing and whole metagenome shotgun sequencing, is that they provides insufficient discriminative powerto distinguish among closely related species and strains with high sequence similarity, or confidently mapmobile genetic elements (such as plasmids) to their host genomes. This limitation often leads to fragmentedpictures (large number of short contigs) at a limited resolution that prevents an in-depth characterization of theeffect of antibiotics on gut microbiome. In this project, we will build on a highly innovative method we recentlyprototyped for high resolution metagenomic analysis based on long-read Single Molecule Real Time (SMRT)sequencing, and apply the novel methods to perform in-depth characterization of metagenomic changes andtransmission of mobile genetic elements in response to different types of antibiotics. We expect this study touncover novel biological insights, undetectable by previous methods, into the complex genomic dynamics ofmicrobiomes in response to antibiotics, and provide a novel and general method to help high resolutioncharacterization of microbiomes.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of General Medical Sciences
Project source
View this project
Project number
Antimicrobial Resistance