Most Wanted Genomes

The human body is home to an enormous number and diversity of microbes. These microbes, our microbiome, are increasingly thought to be required for normal human development, physiology, immunity, and nutrition. The mission of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) is to generate resources to describe these microbial communities and to analyze their role in health and disease. As part of this effort, the HMP will sequence, at minimum, 3000 bacterial genomes that represent both major and minor constituents of the human microbiome.

Currently, there are over 1000 bacterial genomes at various stages of sequencing through HMP and, yet, we are still far from covering the breadth of phylogenetic diversity present within the microbiome of humans. While we continue to solicit feedback and strains for sequencing from the scientific community, not all human-associated microbes are currently cultivated or are capable of being cultivated using standard methods. However, recent advances in culture- and single cell-based techniques are making access to these hard-to-culture members of the microbiome possible.

We have identified not-yet-sequenced members of the microbiome using methods that incorporate the 16S-based metagenomic- surveys of 200 'healthy' volunteers. Data from each of 18 different body sites were examined and organisms to be targeted using culture- and single cell-based approaches were prioritized based on their distance from already sequenced strains and frequency among samples.

The resulting HMP 'Most Wanted' list is a resource for the community interested in isolating and sequencing novel and previously un-sequenced organisms found in association with humans. The table available here provides a select subset of metadata related to our list of 1468 non-chimeric OTUs. There is a link at the bottom of the data table to download the entire spreadsheet containing a total of 105 columns of metadata corresponding to 2698 OTUs. If you have identified anything from this list, please contact the HMP via our feedback link. We would love to work with you to sequence your organism.

A paper describing the HMP 'Most Wanted' project has been submitted to PLoS ONE. For more information on using the data provided here, please see our SOP/User Guide.

Download entire dataset (2.3 MB, MS Excel)
Download V1V3 Abundant OTU data (206 MB)
Download V3V5 Abundant OTU data (268 MB)
Member Organizations