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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Nov 9;107(45):19514-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011100107. Epub 2010 Oct 25.

Genome analysis of Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010 reveals metabolic pathways for host-derived glycan foraging.

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Laboratory of Probiogenomics, Department of Genetics, Biology of Microorganisms, Anthropology and Evolution, University of Parma, 43100 Parma, Italy.


The human intestine is densely populated by a microbial consortium whose metabolic activities are influenced by, among others, bifidobacteria. However, the genetic basis of adaptation of bifidobacteria to the human gut is poorly understood. Analysis of the 2,214,650-bp genome of Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010, a strain isolated from infant stool, revealed a nutrient-acquisition strategy that targets host-derived glycans, such as those present in mucin. Proteome and transcriptome profiling revealed a set of chromosomal loci responsible for mucin metabolism that appear to be under common transcriptional control and with predicted functions that allow degradation of various O-linked glycans in mucin. Conservation of the latter gene clusters in various B. bifidum strains supports the notion that host-derived glycan catabolism is an important colonization factor for B. bifidum with concomitant impact on intestinal microbiota ecology.

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