Ecological and evolutionary forces shaping microbial diversity in the human intestine

Cell. 2006 Feb 24;124(4):837-48. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2006.02.017.


The human gut is populated with as many as 100 trillion cells, whose collective genome, the microbiome, is a reflection of evolutionary selection pressures acting at the level of the host and at the level of the microbial cell. The ecological rules that govern the shape of microbial diversity in the gut apply to mutualists and pathogens alike.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Bacterial Infections / genetics
  • Biodiversity
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Ecology
  • Ecosystem*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genetics, Microbial
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Mice
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Soil


  • Soil