A Metagenomic Analysis of Bacterial Microbiota in the Digestive Tract of Triatomines

Nicolas Carels, Marcial Gumiel, Fabio Faria da Mota, Carlos José de Carvalho Moreira, Patricia Azambuja
  • Bioinformatics and Biology Insights, January 2017, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1177932217733422

In triatomine intestines, GC-rich bacteria outcompete GC-poors because of an enzimatic advantage.

What is it about?

The digestive tract of triatomines (hematophagous insects) is an ecological niche favored by microbiota whose enzymatic profile is adapted to the specific substrate availability in this medium. This report describes the enzymatic properties that promote bacterial prominence in the digestive tract of triatomines (DTT). The enzymatic reactions encoded by coding sequences of both rare and common bacterial species were then compared and revealed key functions explaining why some genera outcompete others in the DTT. Results showed that GC-rich bacteria outcompete GC-poor bacteria and are the dominant components of the DTT microbiota. Despite their slower growth in liquid LB medium, bacteria from GC-rich genera outcompete the GC-poor bacteria because their specific enzymatic abilities impart a selective advantage in the DTT.

Why is it important?

This report is important because it establish a clear link between genome evolution in terms of complexity, base content, genome size, gene number, enzyme functionalities and the specificities of a peculiar ecological niche: the intestinal tract of triatomine (hematophagous insects).


Nicolas Carels (Author)
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation

There are many other specialized ecological niches where such studies could be conducted to understand the key evolution drivers of bacterial genomes. The causes of GC content of certain microbial genomes as well as metazoan and metaphyte genome compartments were under hot debates and are still under investigation.

Read Publication


The following have contributed to this page: Nicolas Carels