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Microbiol Immunol. 2002;46(12):819-31.

Fecal microbial diversity in a strict vegetarian as determined by molecular analysis and cultivation.

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Japan Collection of Microorganisms, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.


Fecal microbial diversity in a strictly vegetarian woman was determined by the 16S rDNA library method, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis and a culture-based method. The 16S rDNA library was generated from extracted fecal DNA, using bacteria-specific primers. Randomly selected clones were partially sequenced. T-RFLP analysis was performed using amplified 16S rDNA. The lengths of T-RF were analyzed after digestion by HhaI and MspI. The cultivated bacterial isolates were used for partial sequencing of 16S rDNA. Among 183 clones obtained, approximately 29% of the clones belonged to 13 known species. About 71% of the remaining clones were novel "phylotypes" (at least 98% similarity of clone sequence). A total of 55 species or phylotypes were identified among the 16S rDNA library, while the cultivated isolates included 22 species or phylotypes. In addition, many new phylotypes were detected from the 16S rDNA library. The 16S rDNA library and isolates commonly included the Bacteroides group, Bifidobacterium group, and Clostridium rRNA clusters IV, XIVa, XVI and XVIII. T-RFLP analysis revealed the major composition of the vegetarian gut microbiota were Clostridium rRNA subcluster XIVa and Clostridium rRNA cluster XVIII. The dominant feature of this strictly vegetarian gut microbiota was the detection of many Clostridium rRNA subcluster XIVa and C. ramosum (Clostridium rRNA cluster XVIII).

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