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Microbiol Immunol. 2000;44(10):815-20.

Bifidobacterium lactis Meile et al. 1997 is a subjective synonym of Bifidobacterium animalis (Mitsuoka 1969) Scardovi and Trovatelli 1974.

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National Grassland Research Institute, Nishinasuno, Tochigi, Japan.


Bifidobacterium lactis JCM 10602T (T = type strain) and Bifidobacterium animalis JCM 1190T were found to be phenotypically similar. These strains were subjected to investigation of their genetic relationships. The 16S rRNA sequence of B. animalis JCM 1190T was aligned with that of other Bifidobacterium species. B. animalis and B. lactis were the most closely related species in the phylogenetic tree and showed a high similarity in sequences (98.8%). The levels of DNA-DNA hybridization between the type strains of B. lactis and B. animalis ranged from 85.5 to 92.3%, showing that they represent a single species. It is proposed that B. lactis should be considered as a junior subjective synonym of B. animalis.

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