Glycan cross-feeding activities between bifidobacteria under in vitro conditions.
ABSTRACT: Bifidobacteria colonize the gut of various mammals, including humans, where they may metabolize complex, diet-, and host-derived carbohydrates. The glycan-associated metabolic features encoded by bifidobacteria are believed to be strongly influenced by cross-feeding activities due to the co-existence of strains with different glycan-degrading properties. In this study, we observed an enhanced growth yield of Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010 when co-cultivated with Bifidobacterium breve 12L, Bifidobacterium adolescentis 22L, or Bifidobacterium thermophilum JCM1207. This enhanced growth phenomenon was confirmed by whole genome transcriptome analyses, which revealed co-cultivation-associated transcriptional induction of PRL2010 genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, such as those encoding for carbohydrate transporters and associated energy production, and genes required for translation, ribosomal structure, and biogenesis, thus supporting the idea that co-cultivation of certain bifidobacterial strains with B. bifidum PRL2010 causes enhanced metabolic activity, and consequently increased lactate and/or acetate production. Overall, these data suggest that PRL2010 cells benefit from the presence of other bifidobacterial strains.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Bifidobacteria constitute a specific group of commensal bacteria that commonly inhabit the mammalian gastrointestinal tract. Bifidobacterium breve UCC2003 was previously shown to utilize a variety of plant/diet/host-derived carbohydrates, including cellodextrin, starch and galactan, as well as the mucin and HMO-derived monosaccharide, sialic acid. In the current study, we investigated the ability of this strain to utilize parts of a host-derived source of carbohydrate, namely the mucin glycoprotein, when grown in co-culture with the mucin-degrading Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010. RESULTS: B. breve UCC2003 was shown to exhibit growth properties in a mucin-based medium, but only when grown in the presence of B. bifidum PRL2010, which is known to metabolize mucin. A combination of HPAEC-PAD and transcriptome analyses identified some of the possible monosaccharides and oligosaccharides which support this enhanced co-cultivation growth/viability phenotype. CONCLUSION: This study describes the potential existence of a gut commensal relationship between two bifidobacterial species. We demonstrate the in vitro ability of B. breve UCC2003 to cross-feed on sugars released by the mucin-degrading activity of B. bifidum PRL2010, thus advancing our knowledge on the metabolic adaptability which allows the former strain to colonize the (infant) gut by its extensive metabolic abilities to (co-)utilize available carbohydrate sources.
Project description:The intricacies of cooperation and competition between microorganisms are poorly investigated for particular components of the gut microbiota. In order to obtain insights into the manner by which different bifidobacterial species coexist in the mammalian gut, we investigated possible interactions between four human gut commensals, Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010, Bifidobacterium adolescentis 22L, Bifidobacterium breve 12L and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis ATCC15697, in the intestine of conventional mice. The generated information revealed various ecological/metabolic strategies, including glycan-harvesting, glycan-breakdown and cross-feeding behavior, adopted by bifidobacteria in the highly competitive environment of the mammalian intestine. Introduction of two or multiple bifidobacterial strains caused a clear shift in the microbiota composition of the murine cecum. Whole-genome transcription profiling coupled with metagenomic analyses of single, dual or multiple associations of bifidobacterial strains revealed an expansion of the murine gut glycobiome toward enzymatic degradation of plant-derived carbohydrates, such as xylan, arabinoxylan, starch and host-derived glycan substrates. Furthermore, these bifidobacterial communities evoked major changes in the metabolomic profile of the microbiota as observed by shifts in short chain fatty acid production and carbohydrate availability in the murine cecum. Overall, these data support an ecological role of bifidobacteria acting directly or through cross-feeding activities in shaping the gut murine microbiome to instigate an enrichment of saccharolytic microbiota.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Bifidobacteria are important probiotics; some of the beneficial effects of bifidobacteria are achieved by the hydrolysis of glycans in the human gut. However, because the diet of breastfed infants typically lacks plant-derived glycans, in the gut environment of mothers and their breastfed infants, the mother will intake a variety of plant-derived glycans, such as from onions and bananas, through her diet. Under this assumption, we are interested in whether the same species of bifidobacteria isolated from mother-infant pairs present a distinction in their hydrolysis of plant-derived carbohydrates. RESULTS:Among the 36 Bifidobacterium strains, bifidobacterial carbohydrate utilization showed two trends related to the intestinal environment where the bacteria lived. Compared with infant-type bifidobacterial strains, adult-type bifidobacterial strains preferred to use plant-derived glycans. Of these strains, 10 isolates, 2 Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum (B. pseudocatenulatum), 2 Bifidobacterium pseudolongum (B. pseudolongum), 2 Bifidobacterium bifidum (B. bifidum), 2 Bifidobacterium breve (B. breve), and 2 Bifidobacterium longum (B. longum), were shared between the mother-infant pairs. Moreover, the repetitive sequence-based polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR) results illustrated that B. pseudolongum and B. bifidum showed genotypic similarities of 95.3 and 98.2%, respectively. Combined with the carbohydrate fermentation study, these results indicated that the adult-type strains have a stronger ability to use plant-derived glycans than infant-type strains. Our work suggests that bifidobacterial carbohydrate metabolism differences resulted in the selective adaptation to the distinct intestinal environment of an adult or breastfed infant. CONCLUSIONS:The present study revealed that the different gut environments can lead to the differences in the polysaccharide utilization in the same strains of bifidobacterial strains, suggesting a further goal of investigating the exact expression of certain enzymes in response to specific carbon sources.
Project description:Bifidobacteria constitute a specific group of commensal bacteria that inhabit the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and other mammals. Bifidobacterium breve UCC2003 has previously been shown to utilize several plant-derived carbohydrates that include cellodextrins, starch, and galactan. In the present study, we investigated the ability of this strain to utilize the mucin- and human milk oligosaccharide (HMO)-derived carbohydrate sialic acid. Using a combination of transcriptomic and functional genomic approaches, we identified a gene cluster dedicated to the uptake and metabolism of sialic acid. Furthermore, we demonstrate that B. breve UCC2003 can cross feed on sialic acid derived from the metabolism of 3'-sialyllactose, an abundant HMO, by another infant gut bifidobacterial strain, Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010.
Project description:Mupirocin is an antibiotic commonly used in selective media for the isolation of bifidobacteria. However, little is known about the genetic traits responsible for bifidobacterial resistance to mupirocin. Our investigation demonstrates that all of the bifidobacteria tested exhibit a phenotype of generally high resistance to this antibiotic. The genotypic reason for bifidobacterial mupirocin resistance was further characterized by sequencing of the isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase gene (ileS) coupled with three-dimensional modeling of the encoded protein and cloning of the ileS gene of Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010 in a mupirocin-sensitive Escherichia coli strain. These analyses revealed key amino acid residues of the IleS protein that apparently are crucial for conferring a mupirocin resistance phenotype to bifidobacteria.
Project description:This study was conducted to investigate the catabolism and fermentation of caprine milk oligosaccharides (CMO) by selected bifidobacteria isolated from 4 breast-fed infants. Seventeen bifidobacterial isolates consisting of 3 different species (Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum and Bifidobacterium bifidum) were investigated. A CMO-enriched fraction (CMOF) (50% oligosaccharides, 10% galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), 20% lactose, 10% glucose and 10% galactose) from caprine cheese whey was added to a growth medium as a sole source of fermentable carbohydrate. The inclusion of the CMOF was associated with increased bifidobacterial growth for all strains compared to glucose, lactose, GOS, inulin, oligofructose, 3'-sialyl-lactose and 6'-sialyl-lactose. Only one B. bifidum strain (AGR2166) was able to utilize the sialyl-CMO, 3'-sialyl-lactose and 6'-sialyl-lactose, as carbohydrate sources. The inclusion of CMOF increased the production of acetic and lactic acid (P < 0.001) after 36 h of anaerobic fermentation at 37 °C, when compared to other fermentable substrates. Two B. bifidum strains (AGR2166 and AGR2168) utilised CMO, contained in the CMOF, to a greater extent than B. breve or B. longum subsp longum isolates, and this increased CMO utilization was associated with enhanced sialidase activity. CMOF stimulated bifidobacterial growth when compared to other tested fermentable carbohydrates and also increased the consumption of mono- and disaccharides, such as galactose and lactose present in the CMOF. These findings indicate that the dietary consumption of CMO may stimulate the growth and metabolism of intestinal Bifidobacteria spp. including B. bifidum typically found in the large intestine of breast-fed infants.
Project description: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.
Project description:Bifidobacteria represent one of the dominant groups of microorganisms colonizing the human infant intestine. Commensal bacteria that interact with a eukaryotic host are believed to express adhesive molecules on their cell surface that bind to specific host cell receptors or soluble macromolecules. Whole-genome transcription profiling of Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010, a strain isolated from infant stool, revealed a small number of commonly expressed extracellular proteins, among which were genes that specify sortase-dependent pili. Expression of the coding sequences of these B. bifidum PRL2010 appendages in nonpiliated Lactococcus lactis enhanced adherence to human enterocytes through extracellular matrix protein and bacterial aggregation. Furthermore, such piliated L. lactis cells evoked a higher TNF-α response during murine colonization compared with their nonpiliated parent, suggesting that bifidobacterial sortase-dependent pili not only contribute to adherence but also display immunomodulatory activity.
Project description: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.
Project description:Bifidobacteria have attracted significant scientific attention due to their perceived role as health-promoting microorganisms, although the genetics of the bacterial group is still underexplored. In this study, we investigated the transcriptome of Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010 during in vitro growth by microarray technology. When B. bifidum PRL2010 was grown in liquid broth, 425 of the 1,644 PRL2010 genes represented on the array were expressed in at least one of the three investigated growth phases, i.e., the lag, exponential, and stationary phases. These transcriptional analyses identified a core in vitro transcriptome encompassing 150 genes that are expressed in all phases. A proportion of these genes were further investigated as potential reference genes by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) assays. Their expression stability was evaluated under different growth conditions, which included cultivation on different carbon sources, exposure to environmental stresses (thermal, acidic, and osmotic), and growth phases. Our analyses validated six reference genes suitable for normalizing mRNA expression levels in qRT-PCR experiments applied to bifidobacteria.