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Oral microbial community assembly under the influence of periodontitis.

Oral microbial community assembly under the influence of periodontitis.
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Chen H, Peng S, Dai L, Zou Q, Yi B, Yang X, Ma ZS,


Chen H, Peng S, Dai L, Zou Q, Yi B, Yang X, Ma ZS, (click to view)

Chen H, Peng S, Dai L, Zou Q, Yi B, Yang X, Ma ZS,

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PloS one 2017 08 1612(8) e0182259 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0182259
Abstract

Several ecological hypotheses (e.g., specific plaque, non-specific plaque and keystone pathogen) regarding the etiology of periodontitis have been proposed since the 1990s, most of which have been centered on the concept of dysbiosis associated with periodontitis. Nevertheless, none of the existing hypotheses have presented mechanistic interpretations on how and why dysbiosis actually occurs. Hubbell’s neutral theory of biodiversity offers a powerful null model to test hypothesis regarding the mechanism of community assembly and diversity maintenance from the metagenomic sequencing data, which can help to understand the forces that shape the community dynamics such as dysbiosis. Here we reanalyze the dataset from Abusleme et al.’s comparative study of the oral microbial communities from periodontitis patients and healthy individuals. Our study demonstrates that 14 out of 61 communities (23%) passed the neutrality test, a percentage significantly higher than the previous reported neutrality rate of 1% in human microbiome (Li & Ma 2016, Scientific Reports). This suggests that, while the niche selection may play a predominant role in the assembly and diversity maintenance in oral microbiome, the effect of neutral dynamics may not be ignored. However, no statistically significant differences in the neutrality passing rates were detected between the periodontitis and healthy treatments with Fisher’s exact probability test and multiple testing corrections, suggesting that the mechanism of community assembly is robust against disturbances such as periodontitis. In addition, our study confirmed previous finding that periodontitis patients exhibited higher biodiversity. These findings suggest that while periodontitis may significantly change the community composition measured by diversity (i.e., the exhibition or ‘phenotype’ of community assembly), it does not seem to cause the ‘mutation’ of the ‘genotype" (mechanism) of community assembly. We argue that the ‘phenotypic’ changes explain the observed link (not necessarily causal) between periodontitis and community dysbiosis, which is certainly worthy of further investigation.

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