The result of the Gencove call for innovative uses of low-coverage genome sequencing has been now released and our proposal has been one of the two winners!
In collaboration with Gencove, we will investigate the role of diet and environment in shaping the human saliva microbiome by sequencing DNA from the saliva of individuals belonging to Southern African populations. They all share a common genetic background but have different subsistence strategies (agriculturalist or pastoralists) or live in different regions (Namibia and Lesotho in two different ecological zones, highlands and lowlands). The gut microbiome has been shown to differ across geographically close groups exploring different diets. Using the low coverage sequence data we will test if saliva microbial communities are similarly influenced by variation in diet. The use of whole genome sequence data will offer the opportunity to compare affinities and differences between groups in both their microbial taxonomic composition and their metabolic profile.
There is more in spit than you might think!
Read from the Gencove Blog to hear more about the genome challenge and the winners: https://medium.com/the-seeq-blog/and-the-winner-is-e7b50541b24a