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Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 18;8(1):13958. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32080-3.

Sharing of human milk oligosaccharides degradants within bifidobacterial communities in faecal cultures supplemented with Bifidobacterium bifidum.

Author information

1
Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8502, Japan.
2
Faculty of Bioresources and Environmental Sciences, Ishikawa Prefectural University, Nonoichi, Ishikawa, 921-8836, Japan.
3
Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata University, Chuo-ku, Niigata, 951-8510, Japan.
4
Hokkaido Agricultural Research Center, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 062-8555, Japan.
5
Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro, Hokkaido, 080-8555, Japan.
6
Takanashi Milk Products Co., Ltd., Yokohama, Kanagawa, 241-0023, Japan.
7
School of Human Cultures, The University of Shiga Prefecture, Hikone, Shiga, 522-8533, Japan.
8
Food Research Institute, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8642, Japan.
9
Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata University, Chuo-ku, Niigata, 951-8510, Japan. okd@med.niigata-u.ac.jp.
10
Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8502, Japan. takane@lif.kyoto-u.ac.jp.
11
Faculty of Bioresources and Environmental Sciences, Ishikawa Prefectural University, Nonoichi, Ishikawa, 921-8836, Japan. takane@lif.kyoto-u.ac.jp.

Abstract

Gut microbiota of breast-fed infants are generally rich in bifidobacteria. Recent studies show that infant gut-associated bifidobacteria can assimilate human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) specifically among the gut microbes. Nonetheless, little is known about how bifidobacterial-rich communities are shaped in the gut. Interestingly, HMOs assimilation ability is not related to the dominance of each species. Bifidobacterium longum susbp. longum and Bifidobacterium breve are commonly found as the dominant species in infant stools; however, they show limited HMOs assimilation ability in vitro. In contrast, avid in vitro HMOs consumers, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis, are less abundant in infant stools. In this study, we observed altruistic behaviour by B. bifidum when incubated in HMOs-containing faecal cultures. Four B. bifidum strains, all of which contained complete sets of HMO-degrading genes, commonly left HMOs degradants unconsumed during in vitro growth. These strains stimulated the growth of other Bifidobacterium species when added to faecal cultures supplemented with HMOs, thereby increasing the prevalence of bifidobacteria in faecal communities. Enhanced HMOs consumption by B. bifidum-supplemented cultures was also observed. We also determined the complete genome sequences of B. bifidum strains JCM7004 and TMC3115. Our results suggest B. bifidum-mediated cross-feeding of HMOs degradants within bifidobacterial communities.

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