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Parma, Italy

Turroni F.,University of Parma | Ozcan E.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Milani C.,University of Parma | Mancabelli L.,University of Parma | And 5 more authors.
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2015

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. © 2015 Turroni, özcan, Milani, Mancabelli, Viappiani, van Sinderen, Sela and Ventura.

Zanotti I.,University of Parma | Turroni F.,Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center | Piemontese A.,University of Parma | Mancabelli L.,University of Parma | And 10 more authors.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Bifidobacteria are members of the human gut microbiota, which are known to influence the metabolic abilities of their host. Here, we investigated the capabilities of bifidobacteria to reduce cholesterol levels in synthetic growth media, clearly demonstrating assimilation of this molecule by particular bifidobacterial strains, including Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010 (LMG S-28692). The transcriptomic analysis of PRL2010 cells cultivated in the presence of cholesterol revealed a significantly increased transcription level of genes encoding putative transporters and reductases, indicative of specific mechanisms for cholesterol assimilation as well as cholesterol conversion to coprostanol. Cholesterol lowering activity of B. bifidum PRL2010 cells was further evaluated by means of an in vivo murine model, showing that the fecal microbiota of mice is modified toward those bacteria involved in the metabolism of cholesterol. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Ferrario C.,University of Parma | Milani C.,University of Parma | Mancabelli L.,University of Parma | Lugli G.A.,University of Parma | And 6 more authors.
FEMS Microbiology Ecology | Year: 2015

During recent years, the significant and increasing interest in novel bifidobacterial strains with health-promoting characteristics has catalyzed the development of methods for efficient and reliable identification of Bifidobacterium strains at (sub) species level. We developed an assay based on recently acquired bifidobacterial genomic data and involving 98 primer pairs, called the Bifidobacterium-ampliseq panel. This panel includes multiplex PCR primers that target both core and variable genes of the pangenome of this genus. Our results demonstrate that the employment of the Bifidobacterium-ampliseq panel allows rapid and specific identification of the so far recognized 48 (sub)species harboring the Bifidobacterium genus, and thus represents a cost- and time-effective bifidobacterial screening methodology. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved.

Lugli G.A.,University of Parma | Milani C.,University of Parma | Turroni F.,Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center | Duranti S.,University of Parma | And 8 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2014

The Bifidobacterium genus currently encompasses 48 recognized taxa, which have been isolated from different ecosystems. However, the current phylogeny of bifidobacteria is hampered by the relative paucity of genotypic data. Here, we reassessed the taxonomy of this bacterial genus using genome-based approaches, which demonstrated that the previous taxonomic view of bifidobacteria contained several inconsistencies. In particular, high levels of genetic relatedness were shown to exist between particular Bifidobacterium taxa which would not justify their status as separate species. The results presented are here based on average nucleotide identity analysis involving the genome sequences for each type strain of the 48 bifidobacterial taxa, as well as phylogenetic comparative analysis of the predicted core genome of the Bifidobacterium genus. The results of this study demonstrate that the availability of complete genome sequences allows the reconstruction of a more robust bifidobacterial phylogeny than that obtained from a single gene-based sequence comparison, thus discouraging the assignment of a new or separate bifidobacterial taxon without such a genome-based validation. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology.

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