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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2008 Dec;66(3):505-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2008.00527.x. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

Phylotypes related to Ruminococcus bromii are abundant in the large bowel of humans and increase in response to a diet high in resistant starch.

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Preventative Health National Research Flagship, CSIRO Human Nutrition, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.


To further understand how diets containing high levels of fibre protect against colorectal cancer, we examined the effects of diets high in nonstarch polysaccharides (NSP) or high in NSP plus resistant starch (RS) on the composition of the faecal microbial community in 46 healthy adults in a randomized crossover intervention study. Changes in bacterial populations were examined using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA gene fragments. Bacterial profiles demonstrated changes in response to the consumption of both RS and NSP diets [analysis of similarities (ANOSIM): R=0.341-0.507, P<0.01]. A number of different DGGE bands with increased intensity in response to dietary intervention were attributed to as-yet uncultivated bacteria closely related to Ruminococcus bromii. A real-time PCR assay specific to the R. bromii group was applied to faecal samples from the dietary study and this group was found to comprise a significant proportion of the total community when individuals consumed their normal diets (4.4+/-2.6% of total 16S rRNA gene abundance) and numbers increased significantly (+/-67%, P<0.05) with the RS, but not the NSP, dietary intervention. This study indicates that R. bromii-related bacteria are abundant in humans and may be significant in the fermentation of complex carbohydrates in the large bowel.

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