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Appl Microbiol. 1974 Aug;28(2):251-7.

Nutritional features of Bacteroides fragilis subsp. fragilis.


Studies of three reference strains of Bacteroides fragilis subsp. fragilis showed that they grow well in a minimal defined medium containing glucose, hemin, vitamin B(12), minerals, bicarbonate-carbon dioxide buffer, NH(4)Cl, and sulfide. The vitamin B(12) requirement of 0.1 ng/ml was replaced with 7.5 mug of methionine. Cysteine or sulfide was an excellent source of sulfur, thioglycolate was a poor source, and thiosulfate, methionine, beta-mercaptoethanol, dithiothreitol, sulfate, or sulfite did not serve as sole sources of sulfur. Neither single amino acids, nitrate, urea, nor a complex mixture of L-amino acids or peptides effectively replaced ammonia as the nitrogen source. Comparative studies with a few strains of other subspecies of B. fragilis including B. fragilis subsp. vulgatus, B. fragilis subsp. thetaiotaomicron, and B. fragilis subsp. distasonis indicate that they exhibit similar growth responses in the minimal medium. A single strain of B. fragilis subsp. ovatus required other materials. The results indicate the great biosynthetic ability of these organisms and suggest that, in their ecological niche within the large intestine, many nutrients such as amino acids are in very low supply, whereas materials such as ammonia, heme, and vitamin B(12), or related compounds, must be available during much of the time.

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