Complex Oligosaccharide Utilization Pathways in Lactobacillus
Manuel Zúñiga, María Jesús Yebra and Vicente Monedero
from: Lactobacillus Genomics and Metabolic Engineering (Edited by: Sandra M. Ruzal). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2019) Pages: 31-60.
is the bacterial genus that contains the highest number of characterized probiotics. Lactobacilli in general can utilize a great variety of carbohydrates. This characteristic is an essential trait for their survival in highly competitive environments such as the gastrointestinal tract of animals. In particular, the ability of some strains to utilize complex carbohydrates such as milk oligosaccharides as well as their precursor monosaccharides, confer upon lactobacilli a competitive advantage. For this reason, many of these carbohydrates are considered as prebiotics. Genome sequencing of many lactobacilli strains has revealed a great variety of genes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and some of them have already been characterized. In this chapter, the current knowledge at the biochemical and genetic levels of the catabolic pathways of complex carbohydrates utilized by lactobacilli will be summarized.