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A microbiome is the totality of microbes, their genetic elements (genomes), and environmental interactions in a particular environment.
The term “microbiome” was coined by Joshua Lederberg, who argued that microorganisms inhabiting the human body should be included as part of the human genome, because of their influence on human physiology. The human body contains over 10 times more microbial cells than human cells, although the entire microbiome only weighs about 200 grams (7.1 oz).
Microbiomes are being characterized in many other environments as well, including soil, seawater and freshwater systems.