Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Nancy Bigley (Committee Member), Mill Miller (Committee Member), Oleg Paliy (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The human microbiota is an essential component of human health and disease. It is involved in metabolism of dietary components and is at the forefront of the intestinal immune response. Classical techniques applied to study intestinal microbiota illustrated higher presences of aerobic and facultative-anaerobic bacteria, however; the levels of obligate anaerobes had been underrepresented. Modern technologies based on DNA and RNA analysis have circumvented previous challenges allowing researchers to gain more extensive insight into the complex intestinal environment. In this work, a recently developed Microbiota Array was used to assess intestinal microbiota of 10 healthy adults (age 22-61, ave. 34.3yrs). Class level results showed dominance of Clostridia in all samples, encompassing approximately 74.0% of total class signal. Little variation was seen among samples at the Class level, however, this variation increased at the Genus level. Ruminococcus was the most abundant genus (21.1%), followed by Faecalibacterium (8.7%) and Papillibacter (6.8%). Members of 87 genera were detected in at least one sample. Among these, most were present at low abundance levels (65 genera had average abundance less than 1%). A core microbiome of 113 phylo-species was found in every sample. Among these core phylo-species, Ruminococcus, Roseburia, and Papillibacter were the major contributors. Overall, similar numbers of phylo-species were detected across samples (294-385, ave. 330). The results here show that the Microbiota Array is an efficient and viable method for analyzing the intestinal microbiota. In conclusion, this work solidifies the Microbiota Array as a formidable tool in analysis and characterization of intestinal microbiota.

Page Count


Department or Program

Microbiology and Immunology

Year Degree Awarded