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PLoS One. 2017 Oct 23;12(10):e0186671. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186671. eCollection 2017.

Prohibition of antibiotic growth promoters has affected the genomic profiles of Lactobacillus salivarius inhabiting the swine intestine.

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Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Institute of Green-Bio Science & Technology, Seoul National University, Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.
Department of Animal Life Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea.
Research Institute for Agriculture and Life Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


After the introduction of a ban on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) for livestock, the feeding environment, including the composition of animal intestinal microbiota, has changed rapidly. We hypothesized that the microbial genomes have also been affected by this legal prohibition, and investigated an important member of the swine gut microbiota, Lactobacillus salivarius, with a pan-genomic approach. Here, we isolated 21 L. salivarius strains composed of 6 strains isolated before the AGP prohibition (SBPs) and 15 strains isolated after the AGP prohibition (SAPs) at an interval of a decade, and the draft genomes were generated de novo. Several genomic differences between SBPs and SAPs were identified, although the number and function of antibiotic resistance genes were not different. SBPs showed larger genome size and a higher number of orthologs, as well as lower genetic diversity, than SAPs. SBPs had genes associated with the utilization of L-rhamnose and D-tagatose for energy production. Because these sugars are also used in exopolysaccharide (EPS) synthesis, we tried to identify differences in biofilm formation-associated genes. The genes for the production of EPSs and extracellular proteins were different in terms of amino acid sequences. Indeed, SAPs formed dense biofilm and survived better than SBPs in the swine intestinal environment. These results suggest that SAPs have evolved and adapted to protect themselves from new selection pressure of the swine intestinal microenvironment by forming dense biofilms, adopting a distinct antibiotic resistance strategy. This finding is particularly important to understand the evolutionary changes in host-microbe interaction and provide detailed insight for the development of effective probiotics for livestock.

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