To address the question of how microbial diversity and function in the oral cavities of children relates to caries diagnosis, we surveyed the supragingival plaque biofilm microbiome in 44 juvenile twin pairs. Using shotgun sequencing, we constructed a genome encyclopedia describing the core supragingival plaque microbiome. Caries phenotypes contained statistically significant enrichments in specific genome abundances and distinct community composition profiles, including strain-level changes. Metabolic pathways that are statistically associated with caries include several sugar-associated phosphotransferase systems, antimicrobial resistance, and metal transport. Numerous closely related previously uncharacterized microbes had substantial variation in central metabolism, including the loss of biosynthetic pathways resulting in auxotrophy, changing the ecological role.
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