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Linda Duffy

Linda Duffy

National Institutes of Health NIH/DHHS

Title: Progress and challenges: What’s happened to keystone taxa and their metagenomic footprints in human gut microbial cometabolism ?

Biography

Biography: Linda Duffy

Abstract

Microbiome metabolic impacts and essential functions in the human host have co-evolved with Homo sapiens. Th e growing
appreciation of the role of microbiomes in host essential life functions raises the question of whether keystone species
and ancient human microbiomes can yield metabolic footprints that can demystify broader issues in human evolution and to
what extent microbiota has been shaped by western diet, drug metabolism and lifestyle. Th is talk will in part, review keystone
Actinomyces and keystone organism and gene impacts on carbohydrate metabolism that infl uence the overall glycobiome of
the gut microbiome and host interactions. Despite the gaps and challenges, metabolic footprints of targeted host-microbiome
interactions indicative of health and toxicity will likely become important components of our overall understanding of food,
drug and toxicant metabolism. Th e conceptual view of keystone taxa and groups is intriguing, and the search for missing
genomic links to essential functionalities through integrated omics and imaging technologies opens up exciting possibilities for
devising prediction and control strategies for microbial communities in the future. Focusing research eff orts on understanding
the importance of the co-evolution of keystone species and community ecology, inter-kingdom conserved metabolic genes
and microbial-host interactions for ecosystem functions has promising potential for development of biologically-based
interventions aimed at enhancing immune system development, energy metabolism, and human performance.