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To study the effect of host genetics on gut microbiome composition, the MiBioGen consortium curated and analyzed genome-wide genotypes and 16S fecal microbiome data from 18,340 individuals (24 cohorts). Microbial composition showed high variability across cohorts: only 9 out of 410 genera were detected in more than 95% samples. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of host genetic variation in relation to microbial taxa identified 31 loci affecting microbiome at a genome-wide significant (P<5×10 −8 ) threshold. One locus, the lactase ( LCT ) gene locus, reached study-wide significance (GWAS signal P=1.28×10 −20 ), and it showed an age-dependent association with Bifidobacterium abundance. Other associations were suggestive (1.95×10 −10

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