Caister Academic Press

Genomics of Bifidobacteria: Where we stand now and where we are going

Marco Ventura, Francesca Turroni, Francesca Bottacini and Douwe van Sinderen
from: Bifidobacteria: Genomics and Molecular Aspects (Edited by: Baltasar Mayo and Douwe van Sinderen). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)


During recent years microbiological research has been fundamentally changed by the ever increasing number of publicly available bacterial whole-genome sequences. This sequence information has largely affected our understanding of the metabolic capabilities, genetics and phylogeny of bacteria. Bifidobacteria constitute one of the key microbial groups of the human intestinal microbiota, due to their perceived positive contribution to maintain a balanced gut homeostasis. In recent years bifidobacteria have drawn much scientific attention because of their use as live bacteria in numerous food preparations with several health-related claims. For this reason these bifidobacteria represent a developing area of scientific interest with respect to genomics, molecular biology, genetics and physiology. Recent genome sequencing of different bifidobacterial species has provided the complete genetic make-up of these bacteria. In this chapter we will discuss how genomic data has provided insights into bifidobacterial evolution, while also revealing genetic functions that explain their presence in the particular ecological environment of the gastrointestinal tract read more ...
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