Road MAPs to engineer host microbiomes

B. O. Oyserman, Marnix H Medema, J.M. Raaijmakers (Corresponding author)

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47 Citations (Scopus)
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Microbiomes contribute directly or indirectly to host health and fitness. Thus far, investigations into these emergent traits, referred to here as microbiome-associated phenotypes (MAPs), have been primarily qualitative and taxonomy-driven rather than quantitative and trait-based. We present the MAPs-first approach, a theoretical and experimental roadmap that involves quantitative profiling of MAPs across genetically variable hosts and subsequent identification of the underlying mechanisms. We outline strategies for developing ‘modular microbiomes’ — synthetic microbial consortia that are engineered in concert with the host genotype to confer different but mutually compatible MAPs to a single host or host population. By integrating host and microbial traits, these strategies will facilitate targeted engineering of microbiomes to the benefit of agriculture, human/animal health and biotechnology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-54
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Issue numberJune
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • national

Research theme

  • Microbiomes


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