Gut bacteria have a very big part in our digestive process as well as our health. Researchers still do not know the kind of food our gut bacteria like to live off of or how they seem to metabolize nutrients. The researchers selected 96 strains from 72 bacterial species, representing the most occurring and abundant species in the human gut. Nassos Typas says in the article, "Our resource provides scientists with tools to experimentally investigate the gt microbiome ecology, going beyond correlations and identifying causes and effects."
While in the middle of characterising their nutritional preferences for molecules and the gut bacteria the researchers also discovered unknown metabolic features of some other bacteria. Kiran Patil, one of the members of the research team says, "We were surprised to find new bacteria with the capability to utilize mucin, the protein that makes up mucus. These bacteria can contribute to inflammation and infection by weakening the protective mucus barrier lining the gut. Another surprise came from bacteria that proved to be inhibited by amino acids and short-chain fatty acids, common ingredients in most growth media. It turns out that rich media with many nutrients can be toxic for these species, whereas we used to think: the more food, the better." All in all, even closely related bacteria to the gut bacteria sometimes had completely different nutritional preferences. This new discovery of the gut bacteria will surely impact the medical industry in helping create medicines that are more effective in killing viruses and bacteria in our body that can cause colon cancer or other stomach related issues.