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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Metabolism of Bifidobacteria

item Sela, David
item Price, Neil
item Mills, David

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2010
Publication Date: 12/20/2010
Publication URL:
Citation: Sela, D.A., Price, N.P., Mills, D.A. 2010. Metabolism of Bifidobacteria. In: Mayo, B., van Sinderen, D., editors. Bifidobacteria, Genomics and Molecular Aspects. Caiser Academic Press. p. 45-70.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The genus Bifidobacterium possesses a unique fructose-6-phosphate phosphoketolase pathway employed to ferment carbohydrates. Much metabolic research on bifidobacteria has focused on oligosaccharide metabolism as these carbohydrate polymers are available in their otherwise nutrient-limited habitats. Interestingly, infant-associated bifidobacterial phylotypes appear to have evolved the ability to ferment milk oligosaccharides whereas adult-associated species utilize plant oligosaccharides, consistent with what they encounter in their respective environments. As breast-fed infants often harbor bifidobacteria dominated gut consortia, there have been numerous applications to mimic the bifidogenic properties of milk oligosaccharides. These are broadly classified as plant-derived fructo-oligosaccharides or dairy-derived galacto-oligosaccharides that are differentially metabolized and distinct from milk oligosaccharide catabolism. In the following chapter we review bifidobacterial carbohydrate metabolism as well as several other topics including nitrogen and iron metabolism.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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