Abstract: The human gut provides a habitat for enormous bacterial communities associated with health and resistance to disease. These communities result from a complex process of bacterial cooperation and competition that is not understood. I will describe how new genetic approaches for gut anaerobes can be combined with germfree animal husbandry to identify and characterize inter-bacterial and host-bacterial interactions. Mechanistic insights into microbiome dynamics will facilitate predictive and intervention approaches for maximizing the contribution of the microbiome to health.
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