Caister Academic Press

Bifidobacterial ecology and comparative genomics: Perspectives and prospects

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

Abstract

The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of humans and other mammals are colonized by a vast number of bacterial cells, including microorganisms such as bifidobacteria, which have been attributed an important role in maintaining a healthy GIT. However, despite this generally accepted beneficial role of bifidobacteria, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which these commensal bacteria exert this health-promoting or probiotic activity is far from understood. Recent genome sequencing has provided detailed insights into the genetic make-up of some members of the genus Bifidobacterium, although it represents only the first step in moving towards a better understanding of the biology and metabolic capabilities of these bacteria. Furthermore, comparative analyses of these genomes may increase our understanding of the physiological and metabolic behavior of these microorganisms, in particular with regards to the way in which bifidobacteria have adapted to the intestinal environment read more ...
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