Comparative Metagenomics Reveals Host Specific Metavirulomes and Horizontal Gene Transfer Elements in the Chicken Cecum Microbiome

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The complex microbiome of the ceca of chickens plays an important role in nutrient utilization, growth and well-being of these animals. Since we have a very limited understanding of the capabilities of most species present in the cecum, we investigated the role of the microbiome by comparative analyses of both the microbial community structure and functional gene content using random sample pyrosequencing. The overall goal of this study was to characterize the chicken cecal microbiome using a pathogen-free chicken and one that had been challenged with Campylobacter jejuni.

Comparative metagenomics reveals host specific metavirulomes and horizontal gene transfer elements in the chicken cecum microbiome.
PloS one. 2008-08-13; 3.8: e2945.
PMID: 18698407

Funding provided through the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, Grant number #2005-35212-15287.