Distinct Polysaccharide Utilization Profiles of Human Intestinal Prevotella copri Isolates

Hannah Fehlner-Peach, Cara Magnabosco, Varsha Raghavan, Jose U. Scher, Adrian Tett, Laura M. Cox, Claire Gottsegen, Aaron Watters, John D. Wiltshire-Gordon, Nicola Segata, Richard Bonneau, Dan R. Littman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gut-dwelling Prevotella copri (P. copri), the most prevalent Prevotella species in the human gut, have been associated with diet and disease. However, our understanding of their diversity and function remains rudimentary because studies have been limited to 16S and metagenomic surveys and experiments using a single type strain. Here, we describe the genomic diversity of 83 P. copri isolates from 11 human donors. We demonstrate that genomically distinct isolates, which can be categorized into different P. copri complex clades, utilize defined sets of polysaccharides. These differences are exemplified by variations in susC genes involved in polysaccharide transport as well as polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs) that were predicted in part from genomic and metagenomic data. Functional validation of these PULs showed that P. copri isolates utilize distinct sets of polysaccharides from dietary plant, but not animal, sources. These findings reveal both genomic and functional differences in polysaccharide utilization across human intestinal P. copri strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-690.e5
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 13 2019


  • diet
  • human microbiome
  • intestinal commensals
  • whole genome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Virology


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