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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory » Research » Research Project #428823

Research Project: Cross-Kingdom Regulation Between Dietary Small RNAs and Human Gut Microbiome, and Its Influence on Human Health

Location: Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-51530-057-04-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2015
End Date: Dec 31, 2019

To 1) use in-silico/bioinformatic approach to identify candidate small RNAs targeting human gut microbiome genomes; 2) evaluate candidate dietary small RNAs’ effect on microbiome in-vivo; 3) correlate small RNAs’ effect to observed changes in microbiome induced by plant-based diet.

To identify dietary small RNAs with perfect complement to gut microbiome genomes involved in critical microbial pathways using in-silico analysis. The complementarity between plant small RNAs and microbiome genomes has never been reported. Thus, in-silico analysis will be performed to compare small RNAs in plant to human microbiome genomes and identify candidate small RNAs. Perfect complement between small RNAs and microbiome genomes serves as the molecular basis for potential interaction and efficacy. Objective 2; To validate candidate small RNAs for their efficacy in modulation of microbiome. Candidate small RNAs identified in Objective 1 will be evaluated for their in-vivo effect on microbiome population and composition. Experimental animals will be supplemented with selected plant small RNAs, and metagenomic analysis will be performed to elucidate the changes in microbiome. Objective 3; To correlate small RNAs’ effect to observed changes induced by plant- based diet in microbiome and health outcome. Our preliminary study has determined that supplementation of red cabbage microgreen could reverse the high fat diet induced change in microbiome, which correlated to lower body weight gain and improved circulating lipid profile in an animal model. As a parallel approach and to complement Objective 2, small RNAs from red cabbage microgreen will be analyzed and supplemented into high fat diet to validate their effect on microbiome and health efficacy.