Caister Academic Press

Comparative and Functional Genomics of the Genus Lactobacillus

Jan-Peter Van Pijkeren and Paul W. O'Toole
from: Lactobacillus Molecular Biology: From Genomics to Probiotics (Edited by: Åsa Ljungh and Torkel Wadström). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)


Lactobacilli are members of the Lactic Acid Bacteria group and constitute an ecologically and phylogenetically very diverse group. Some strains are of industrial importance since they are applied in a range of fermentation processes, whereas other strains are exploited for their probiotic properties. To date, ten Lactobacillus genomes encompassing nine species have been sequenced, and their genome content broadly reflect the diversity of this genus. With the exception of members of the "acidophilus- complex", there is no long range synteny based on whole-genome alignments. The species are diverse in their metabolic capacity, and some species appear to be in an ongoing phase of specialization, largely determined by preferred ecological niches. Each of these species produces proteins which enable them to compete or survive within their preferred habitat. A repertoire of diverse adhesins has been functionally characterized in several gastrointestine-associated lactobacilli. The comparative genomics of different Lactobacillus strains has revealed novel insights in the complexity of this diverse genus read more ...
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