Modeling the Dynamic Digestive System Microbiome

Other literature type, Article English OPEN
Anne M. Estes (2015)
  • Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
  • Journal: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (issn: 1935-7877, eissn: 1935-7885)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1128/jmbe.v16i2.908
  • Subject: Special aspects of education | disturbance | digestive system | microbial ecology | microbiome | LC8-6691 | QH301-705.5 | environment | antibiotic resistance | Tips & Tools | antibiotic use | niche | diet | Biology (General)

<p>“Modeling the Dynamic Digestive System Microbiome” is a hands-on activity designed to demonstrate the dynamics of microbiome ecology using dried pasta and beans to model disturbance events in the human digestive system microbiome. This exercise demonstrates how microbiome diversity is influenced by: 1) niche availability and habitat space and 2) a major disturbance event, such as antibiotic use. Students use a pictorial key to examine prepared models of digestive system microbiomes to determine what the person with the microbiome “ate.” Students then model the effect of taking antibiotics by removing certain “antibiotic sensitive” pasta. Finally, they add in “environmental microbes” or “native microbes” to recolonize the digestive system, determine how resilient their model microbome community is to disturbance, and discuss the implications. Throughout the exercise, students discuss differences in the habitat space available and microbiome community diversity. This exercise can be modified to discuss changes in the microbiome due to diet shifts and the emergence of antibiotic resistance in more depth.</p>
Share - Bookmark