Mongolians core gut microbiota and its correlation with seasonal dietary changes

Sci Rep. 2014 May 16;4:5001. doi: 10.1038/srep05001.


Historically, the Mongol Empire ranks among the world's largest contiguous empires, and the Mongolians developed their unique lifestyle and diet over thousands of years. In this study, the intestinal microbiota of Mongolians residing in Ulan Bator, TUW province and the Khentii pasturing area were studied using 454 pyrosequencing and q-PCR technology. We explored the impacts of lifestyle and seasonal dietary changes on the Mongolians' gut microbes. At the phylum level, the Mongolians's gut populations were marked by a dominance of Bacteroidetes (55.56%) and a low Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio (0.71). Analysis based on the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) level revealed that the Mongolian core intestinal microbiota comprised the genera Prevotella, Bacteroides, Faecalibacterium, Ruminococcus, Subdoligranulum and Coprococcus. Urbanisation and life-style may have modified the compositions of the gut microbiota of Mongolians from Ulan Bator, TUW and Khentii. Based on a food frequency questionnaire, we found that the dietary structure was diverse and stable throughout the year in Ulan Bator and TUW, but was simple and varied during the year in Khentii. Accordingly, seasonal effects on intestinal microbiota were more distinct in Khentii residents than in TUW or Ulan Bator residents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Life Style
  • Microbiota / genetics*
  • Mongolia
  • Seasons
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods


  • DNA, Bacterial