Microbial communities in the human small intestine - coupling diversity to metagenomics

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The gastrointestinal tract is the main site where the conversion and absorption of food components takes place. The host-derived physiological processes and the residing microorganisms, especially in the small intestine, contribute to this nutrient supply. To circumvent sampling problems of the small intestine, several model systems have been developed to study microbial diversity and functionality in the small intestine. In addition, metagenomics offers novel possibilities to gain insight into the genetic potential and functional properties of these microbial communities. Here, an overview is presented of the most recent insights into the diversity and functionality of the microorganisms in the human gastrointestinal tract, with a focus on the small intestine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-295
JournalFuture Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • 16s ribosomal-rna
  • gradient gel-electrophoresis
  • rdna sequence-analysis
  • gastrointestinal-tract
  • molecular analysis
  • crohns-disease
  • cephalic-phase
  • human colon
  • small-bowel
  • uncultured microorganisms


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