Encyclopedia of Metagenomics

2015 Edition
| Editors: Sarah K. Highlander, Francisco Rodriguez-Valera, Bryan A. White

Comparative and Functional Metagenomics of Akkermansia muciniphila

  • Clara Belzer
  • W. J. van Mark Passel
  • Hauke Smidt
  • Willem M. de Vos
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-7475-4_793


Akkermansia muciniphila is an important member of the intestinal microbiota that has specialized on colonizing and degrading host-derived mucin.


Over the course of evolution, intestines of animals have been colonized with microbes. The symbioses between the host and this microbiota became essential for nutrition and immune development (Dethlefsen et al. 2007; Relman 2012). Within the gastrointestinal tract, the host genome is reinforced with the collective genetic potential (i.e., the metagenome) of the microbiota that adds up to two orders of magnitude of additional genes that comprise a broad range of functions, such as the conversion of complex carbohydrates into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), the detoxification of undesired compounds, and the production of various vitamins (Qin et al. 2010).

There are substantial physicochemical, biological, and architectural differences between the major sections of the intestinal tract, including the duodenum, ileum,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clara Belzer
    • 1
  • W. J. van Mark Passel
    • 2
  • Hauke Smidt
    • 1
  • Willem M. de Vos
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of MicrobiologyWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Laboratory of Systems and Synthetic BiologyWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary Biosciences, and Department of Bacteriology and ImmunologyHelsinki UniversityHelsinkiFinland