Concepts and Consequences of a Core Gut Microbiota for Animal Growth and Development

Daphne Perlman, Marina Martínez-Álvaro, Sarah Moraïs, Ianina Altshuler, Live H Hagen, Elie Jami, Rainer Roehe, Phillip B Pope, Itzhak Mizrahi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Animal microbiomes are occasionally considered as an extension of host anatomy, physiology, and even their genomic architecture. Their compositions encompass variable and constant portions when examined across multiple hosts. The latter, termed the core microbiome, is viewed as more accommodated to its host environment and suggested to benefit host fitness. Nevertheless, discrepancies in its definitions, characteristics, and importance to its hosts exist across studies. We survey studies that characterize the core microbiome, detail its current definitions and available methods to identify it, and emphasize the crucial need to upgrade and standardize the methodologies among studies. We highlight ruminants as a case study and discuss the link between the core microbiome and host physiology and genetics, as well as potential factors that shape it. We conclude with main directives of action to better understand the host-core microbiome axis and acquire the necessary insights into its controlled modulation. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-201
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Animal Biosciences
Early online date23 Dec 2021
Publication statusPrint publication - Feb 2022


  • animal gut microbiome
  • host-microbiome fidelity
  • microbial functions
  • microbial interactions
  • symbiotic microbes


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