Today our new pre-print was published on bioRxiv! Shining a spotlight on two of our favorite bugs, we show that co-occurence of Christensenella and Methanobrevibacter in the gut is driven by hydrogen production.
Both the bacterial Christensenellaceae family and the archaeal Methanobacteriaceae family are ubiquitous in the human gut but the extent of their interaction and physiological impact remains unknown. Through metagenomic analysis we confirm their correlation across individuals and show that the presence of Methanobrevibacter smithii directs the metabolic output of the Christensenella minuta towards greater hydrogen availability for methanogenesis.
Given that both organisms are known to be enriched in individuals with a lean Body Mass Index (BMI), the products of their physical and metabolic interaction are likely to have an important impact on host physiology.
A huge congratulations to all authors for their efforts, especially co-first authors Albane Ruaud and Sofia Esquivel-Elizondo who carried out the majority of this work.
Ruaud, A., Esquivel-Elizondo, S., de la Cuesta-Zuluaga, J., Waters, J.L, Angenent, L.T., Youngblut, N.D., Ley, R.E. (2019). Syntrophy via interspecies H2 transfer between Christensenella and Methanobrevibacter underlies their global co-occurrence in the human gut. bioRxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/872333.