Coevolution of yeast mannan digestion: Convergence of the civilized human diet, distal gut microbiome, and host immunity
Abbott, D.W., Martens, E.C., Gilbert, H.J., Cuskin, F., Lowe, E.C. (2015). Coevolution of yeast mannan digestion: Convergence of the civilized human diet, distal gut microbiome, and host immunity. Gut Microbes, [online] 6(5), 334-339. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19490976.2015.1091913
The complex carbohydrates accessible to the distal gut microbiota (DGM) are key drivers in determining the structure of this ecosystem. Typically, plant cell wall polysaccharides and recalcitrant starch (i.e. dietary fiber), in addition to host glycans are considered the primary nutrients for the DGM; however, we recently demonstrated that a-mannans, highly branched polysaccharides that decorate the surface of yeast, are also nutrients for several members of Bacteroides spp. This relationship suggests that the advent of yeast in contemporary food technologies and the colonization of the intestine by endogenous fungi have roles in microbiome structure and function. Here we discuss the process of yeast mannan metabolism, and the intersection between various sources of intestinal fungi and their roles in recognition by the host innate immune system.