Intestinal bacteria influence mammalian physiology, but many types of bacteria are still uncharacterized. Moreover, reference strains of mouse gut bacteria are not easily available, although mouse models are extensively used in medical research. These are major limitations for the investigation of intestinal microbiomes and their interactions with diet and host. It is thus important to study in detail the diversity and functions of gut microbiota members, including those colonizing the mouse intestine. To address these issues, we aimed at establishing the Mouse Intestinal Bacterial Collection (miBC), a public repository of bacterial strains and associated genomes from the mouse gut, and studied host-specificity of colonization and sequence-based relevance of the resource. The collection includes several strains representing novel species, genera and even one family. Genomic analyses showed that certain species are specific to the mouse intestine and that a minimal consortium of 18 strains covered 50-75% of the known functional potential of metagenomes. The present work will sustain future research on microbiota-host interactions in health and disease, as it will facilitate targeted colonization and molecular studies. The resource is available at www.dsmz.de/miBC.
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- Microbial ecology