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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2008 May;282(1):73-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2008.01108.x. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Isolation and identification of equol-producing bacterial strains from cultures of pig faeces.

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College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China.


Transformation of daidzein to equol was compared during fermentation of three growth media inoculated with faeces from Erhualian piglets, but equol was produced from only one medium, M1. Two equol-producing strains (D1 and D2) were subsequently isolated using medium M1. Both strains were identified as Eubacterium sp., on the basis of morphological and physiological characteristics, and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis showed that strains D1 and D2 were most closely related to previously characterized daidzein-metabolizing bacteria isolated from human faecal and rumen samples, respectively. This suggests that the ability to metabolize daidzein can be found among bacteria present within the mammalian intestine. The results provided the first account of conversion of daidzein directly to equol by bacterial species from farm animals. These strains may be of importance to the improvement of animal performance, and the use of medium M1 could provide a simple way to isolate bacterial strains capable of transforming daidzein into equol.

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