April 2, 2019
Journal Article

American Gut: an Open Platform for Citizen-Science Microbiome Research

Justine Debelius
Daniel McDonald
James Morton
Clarisse Marotz
Antonio Gonzalez
Gail Ackermann
Pieter Dorrestein
Paul Wischmeyer
Shyamal Peddada
Katherine Pollard
Gholamali Rahnavard
Adam Robbins-Pianka
Naseer Sangwan
Austin Swafford
Yingfeng Chen
Jessica Green
Matthew Jackson
Stefan Janssen
Dan Knights
Tomasz Kosciolek
Jose Navas-Molina
Elaine Wolfe
Embriette Hyde
Greg Humphrey
Curtis Huttenhower
Alison Vrbanac
L Deright Goldasich
Lingjing Jiang
Alexander Aksenov
Bahar Behsaz
Qiyun Zhu
Caitriona Brennan
Grant Gogul
Philip Hugenholtz
Dmitry Meleshko
Rob Knight
Larry Smarr
Se Song
Alexey Melnik
Jessica Metcalf
Hosein Mohimani
Emmanuel Montassier
Ashkaan Fahimipour
Jack Gilbert
Joshua Ladau
Anupriya Tripathi
Yoshiki Vazquez-Baeza
Joshua Shorenstein
Varykina Thackray
Luke Thompson
Pavel Pevzner
Timothy Spector
Robert Dunn
James Gaffney
Dilip Jeste
Scott Kelley
Jeff Leach
Tanya Nguyen


: The human microbiome is diverse, variable across individuals, and tremendously important for human health. The Human Microbiome Project provided an initial perspective from 242 healthy human adults, who had strikingly different microbiomes than humans living in non-western cultures. However, the full extent of human microbiome diversity is not characterized even in developed countries, and a broader and a representative dataset is critical as a resource for the research and medical communities. The American Gut Project is the largest crowdfunded citizen-science project, generating >130,000,000 sequences from >5,000 samples from 4,218 participants, who range broadly in dietary habits, Body Mass Index, activity levels, medications, and age. We bring technologies developed for the Human Microbiome Project to the general public with the goals of empowering citizen scientists with knowledge about their microbiomes, while developing a large, open-source, and diverse human microbiome database for human medicine. One Sentence Summary: The American Gut Project has sequenced microbial DNA from thousands of human fecal samples, offering an unparalleled perspective into what affects the microbiome on a population scale.

Revised: April 2, 2019 | Published: May 15, 2018


McDonald D., E.R. Hyde, J.W. Debelius, J. Morton, A. Gonzalez, G.L. Ackermann, and A.A. Aksenov, et al. 2018. "American Gut: an Open Platform for Citizen-Science Microbiome Research." mSystems 3, no. 3:Article No. e00031-18. PNNL-SA-113423. doi:10.1128/mSystems.00031-18