Alexander Tyakht

Microbiome Bioinformatics

Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen
Adjunct faculty in: IMPRS


  • PhD, Research Institute of Physical-Chemical Medicine, Moscow, 2010-2015
  • Research Institute of Physical-Chemical Medicine, Moscow, Russia, Senior Scientist, 2010-2016
  • Institute of Gene Biology, Moscow, Russia, Bioinformatics Group Leader, 2018-2022
  • Bioinformatics Project Leader at the MPI for Biology since 2022


Research Interest
Host-associated microbial communities manifest astonishing diversity and complex dynamics, whilst maintaining robustness. Of all, to us humans, gut microbiome appears to be the most crucial, being involved in a multitude of bodily functions from digestion to higher nervous activity.
We are interested in answering the questions:

  • How did symbiont microbes co-evolve with human and animals?
  • What are the principles underlying the temporal stability of microbiome coupled by its ability to response rapidly to external impacts?
  • How is the vast functional potential encoded in gut microbial genomes being realized?

To address these questions, we develop and apply algorithms and software pipelines and statistical methods for investigating microbiome sequencing data in the context of health and disease, diet and geography. In addition to conventional metagenomics, we employ its modifications involving high-throughput conformation capture (Hi-C metagenomics).
The outcomes from associative studies provide the basis for elucidating the ecological principles governing community assembly, mechanisms of host-microbiome homeostasis and ultimately approach the translation of microbiome discoveries into practical real-life clinical and nutritional applications.

Examples of the topics we work on in microbiome field:

  • Strain-level identification of disease biomarkers and response predictors.
  • Diversity of mobile genetic elements in connection to drug resistance.
  • Compositional microbiome data analysis.
  • Reference-free algorithms for analyzing metagenomes.
  • Impact of food and environmental microbiomes on human health.
  • Spatial chromosome organization of bacteria and archaea.

Available PhD Projects 

  • Currently not recruiting PhD students

Selected Reading

  • Ivanova, V., Chernevskaya, E., Vasiluev, P., Ivanov, A., Tolstoganov, I., Shafranskaya, D., ... & Tyakht, A. (2022). Hi-C Metagenomics in the ICU: Exploring Clinically Relevant Features of Gut Microbiome in Chronically Critically Ill Patients. Frontiers in microbiology, 12, 770323.
  • Klimenko, N. S., Odintsova, V. E., Revel-Muroz, A., & Tyakht, A. V. (2022). The hallmarks of dietary intervention-resilient gut microbiome. npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, 8(1), 1-11.
  • Odintsova, V. E., Klimenko, N. S., & Tyakht, A. V. (2022). Approximation of a Microbiome Composition Shift by a Change in a Single Balance Between Two Groups of Taxa. Msystems, e00155-22.
  • Klimenko, N. S., Tyakht, A. V., Popenko, A. S., Vasiliev, A. S., Altukhov, I. A., Ischenko, D. S., ... & Alexeev, D. G. (2018). Microbiome responses to an uncontrolled short-term diet intervention in the frame of the citizen science project. Nutrients, 10(5), 576.
  • Tyakht, A. V., Kostryukova, E. S., Popenko, A. S., Belenikin, M. S., Pavlenko, A. V., Larin, A. K., ... & Govorun, V. M. (2013). Human gut microbiota community structures in urban and rural populations in Russia. Nature communications, 4(1), 1-9.


Go to Editor View