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Microbiota-directed fibre activates both targeted and secondary metabolic shifts in the distal gut

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Catherine Tétard-Jones, Professor William WillatsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Beneficial modulation of the gut microbiome has high-impact implications not only in humans, but also in livestock that sustain our current societal needs. In this context, we have tailored an acetylated galactoglucomannan (AcGGM) fibre to match unique enzymatic capabilities of Roseburia and Faecalibacterium species, both renowned butyrate-producing gut commensals. Here, we test the accuracy of AcGGM within the complex endogenous gut microbiome of pigs, wherein we resolve 355 metagenome-assembled genomes together with quantitative metaproteomes. In AcGGM-fed pigs, both target populations differentially express AcGGM-specific polysaccharide utilization loci, including novel, mannan-specific esterases that are critical to its deconstruction. However, AcGGM-inclusion also manifests a “butterfly effect”, whereby numerous metabolic changes and interdependent cross-feeding pathways occur in neighboring non-mannanolytic populations that produce short-chain fatty acids. Our findings show how intricate structural features and acetylation patterns of dietary fibre can be customized to specific bacterial populations, with potential to create greater modulatory effects at large.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Michalak L, Gaby JC, Lagos L, Leanti La Rosa S, Hvidsten TR, Tétard-Jones C, Willats WGTW, Terrapon N, Lombard V, Henrissat B, Dröge J, Arntzen MO, Hagen LH, Øverland M, Pope PB, Westereng B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature communications

Year: 2020

Volume: 11

Online publication date: 13/11/2020

Acceptance date: 19/10/2020

Date deposited: 17/12/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2041-1723

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-19585-0


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