A genomic view of the human-Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron symbiosis

Jian Xu, Magnus K. Bjursell, Jason Himrod, Su Deng, Lynn K. Carmichael, Herbert C. Chiang, Lora V. Hooper, Jeffrey I. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

834 Scopus citations


The human gut is colonized with a vast community of indigenous microorganisms that help shape our biology. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of the Gram-negative anaerobe Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a dominant member of our normal distal intestinal microbiota. Its 4779-member proteome includes an elaborate apparatus for acquiring and hydrolyzing otherwise indigestible dietary polysaccharides and an associated environment-sensing system consisting of a large repertoire of extracytoplasmic function sigma factors and one- and two-component signal transduction systems. These and other expanded paralogous groups shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying symbiotic host-bacterial relationships in our intestine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2074-2076
Number of pages3
Issue number5615
StatePublished - Mar 28 2003

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    Xu, J., Bjursell, M. K., Himrod, J., Deng, S., Carmichael, L. K., Chiang, H. C., Hooper, L. V., & Gordon, J. I. (2003). A genomic view of the human-Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron symbiosis. Science, 299(5615), 2074-2076. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1080029