The essential genomic landscape of the commensal Bifidobacterium breve UCC2003

Lorena Ruiz, Francesca Bottacini, Christine J. Boinett, Amy K. Cain, Mary O'Connell-Motherway, Trevor D. Lawley, Douwe van Sinderen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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Bifidobacteria are common gut commensals with purported health-promoting effects. This has encouraged scientific research into bifidobacteria, though recalcitrance to genetic manipulation and scarcity of molecular tools has hampered our knowledge on the precise molecular determinants of their health-promoting attributes and gut adaptation. To overcome this problem and facilitate functional genomic analyses in bifidobacteria, we created a large Tn5 transposon mutant library of the commensal Bifidobacterium breve UCC2003 that was further characterized by means of a Transposon Directed Insertion Sequencing (TraDIS) approach. Statistical analysis of transposon insertion distribution revealed a set of 453 genes that are essential for or markedly contribute to growth of this strain under laboratory conditions. These essential genes encode functions involved in the so-called bifid-shunt, most enzymes related to nucleotide biosynthesis and a range of housekeeping functions. Comparison to the Bifidobacterium and B. breve core genomes highlights a high degree of conservation of essential genes at the species and genus level, while comparison to essential gene datasets from other gut bacteria identified essential genes that appear specific to bifidobacteria. This work establishes a useful molecular tool for scientific discovery of bifidobacteria and identifies targets for further studies aimed at characterizing essential functions not previously examined in bifidobacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5648
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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