Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal
Bhopal 462 066
Vineet K Sharma, IISER, Bhopal. The current focus of Sharma’s lab is metagenomics and systems biology. His group has recently sequenced the gut and skin flora of several Indian individuals. They have also developed several software for metagenomic data analysis using machine learning methods and novel algorithms.
Session 2C - Symposium “Our Second Genome”
Novel insights into the human microbiome
Metagenomics has enabled us to access, in principle, nearly 100% of the microbial genomes within an environment, something which has been unattainable using traditional methods. It has revolutionized the genomic era and provided new insights by unlocking the massive uncultured microbial diversity present in various environments including human gut which particularly have unprecedented therapeutic, medical, and biotechnological applications. The human gut harbours a diverse milieu of microbes which play a key role in the well-being of the host. These micro-organisms are known to interact with one-another and with the host immune system in various ways influencing the normal as well as diseased states in the individuals. The gut microbiota metabolizes the substrate inputs from the host such as diet and xenobiotics into metabolites which can affect the host and also help in the metabolism of some complex nutritional compounds to simpler metabolites. Therefore, variation in the gut flora is also known to occur largely as a cause or consequence of many metabolic and immune-related disorders such as obesity, diabetes, IBD, cardiovascular diseases, depression, etc. We have recently carried out several metagenomic studies to examine the gut flora of healthy and diseased individuals in Indian population. These studies have provided novel insights into the microbial communities associated with Indian population. Furthermore, the metabolic analysis has revealed the novel metabolic capabilities of human gut flora involved in the metabolism of different food substrates and xenobiotics. The interesting findings from these studies will be presented.