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Open AccessArticle

Ethnic Differences Shape the Alpha but Not Beta Diversity of Gut Microbiota from School Children in the Absence of Environmental Differences

1
School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, No. 222 TianshuiNanlu, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
Agro-biological Gene Research Center, Guangzhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Tianhe Distinct, Guangzhou 510640, China
3
School of Life Science, Lanzhou University, No. 222 TianshuiNanlu, Lanzhou 730000, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(2), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8020254
Received: 22 November 2019 / Revised: 30 January 2020 / Accepted: 12 February 2020 / Published: 14 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Gut Microbiota Interactions)
Although the human gut microbiome is shaped by factors such as diet, environment, and genetic background, most studies investigating the relationship between ethnicity and microbiota have compared groups living in separate geographical locations. To isolate the effects of ethnicity on microbial diversity by minimizing environmental differences, we selected 143 school children from Han, Tibetan, and Hui populations from the same town on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau for fecal microbiome 16S rDNA sequencing. We characterized the diversity, identified signature taxa, and performed correlation analysis between diet and community composition. Firmicutes (47.61%) and Bacteroidetes (38.05%) were dominant phyla among the three ethnic groups; seven genera showed significant differences in relative abundance. Tibetan populations had a higher relative abundance of Oscillibacter and Barnesiella, compared with Han and Hui populations. Alpha diversity analyses (observed species, ACE, and Shannon indices) showed that the Tibetan population had the highest diversity compared to the Hui and Han groups, whereas beta diversity analysis revealed no significant differences between groups. The consumption of grains, milk, eggs, and fruits were positively correlated with specific taxa. Under similar environments and diet, ethnic background significantly contributed to differences in alpha diversity but not beta diversity of gut microbiota. View Full-Text
Keywords: Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau; dietary habit; ethnicity; gut microbial diversity; Miseq Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau; dietary habit; ethnicity; gut microbial diversity; Miseq
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Liu, K.; Zhang, Y.; Li, Q.; Li, H.; Long, D.; Yan, S.; Huang, W.; Long, R.; Huang, X. Ethnic Differences Shape the Alpha but Not Beta Diversity of Gut Microbiota from School Children in the Absence of Environmental Differences. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 254.

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