Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Feb;72(2):1006-12.

In vitro kinetic analysis of oligofructose consumption by Bacteroides and Bifidobacterium spp. indicates different degradation mechanisms.

Author information

Research Group of Industrial Microbiology, Fermentation Technology and Downstream Processing (IMDO), Department of Applied Biological Sciences and Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.


The growth of pure cultures of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron LMG 11262 and Bacteroides fragilis LMG 10263 on fructose and oligofructose was examined and compared to that of Bifidobacterium longum BB536 through in vitro laboratory fermentations. Gas chromatography (GC) analysis was used to determine the different fractions of oligofructose and their degradation during the fermentation process. Both B. thetaiotaomicron LMG 11262 and B. fragilis LMG 10263 were able to grow on oligofructose as fast as on fructose, succinic acid being the major metabolite produced by both strains. B. longum BB536 grew slower on oligofructose than on fructose. Acetic acid and lactic acid were the main metabolites produced when fructose was used as the sole energy source. Increased amounts of formic acid and ethanol were produced when oligofructose was used as an energy source at the cost of lactic acid. Detailed kinetic analysis revealed a preferential metabolism of the short oligofructose fractions (e.g., F2 and F3) for B. longum BB536. After depletion of the short fractions, the larger oligofructose fractions (e.g., F4, GF4, F5, GF5, and F6) were metabolized, too. Both Bacteroides strains did not display such a preferential metabolism and degraded all oligofructose fractions simultaneously, transiently increasing the fructose concentration in the medium. This suggests a different mechanism for oligofructose breakdown between the strain of Bifidobacterium and both strains of Bacteroides, which helps to explain the bifidogenic nature of inulin-type fructans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center