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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2005 May 15;246(2):251-7.

The gene encoding xylulose-5-phosphate/fructose-6-phosphate phosphoketolase (xfp) is conserved among Bifidobacterium species within a more variable region of the genome and both are useful for strain identification.

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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Food Research Program, 93 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ont., Canada N1G 5C9.


The nucleotide sequence of the xfp-gene region in six known and two unknown species of Bifidobacterium was determined and compared with the published sequences of B. animalis subsp. lactis DSM10140 and B. longum biovar longum NCC2705. The xfp coding sequences were 73% identical and coded for 825 amino acids in all 10 sequences. Partial sequences of an adjacent gene, guaA, were 61% identical in six sequences for which data were available. The region between xfp and guaA was variable in both length and sequence. Oligonucleotide sequences from the conserved and variable xfp regions were used as PCR primers, in combinations of appropriate specificity, for the detection and identification of Bifidobacterium isolates.

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