Members of the genus Bifidobacterium were first described over a century ago and were quickly associated with a healthy intestinal tract due to their numerical dominance in breast-fed babies as compared to bottle-fed infants. Health benefits elicited by bifidobacteria to its host, as supported by clinical trials, have led to their wide application as probiotic components of health-promoting foods, especially in fermented dairy products. However, the relative paucity of genetic tools available for bifidobacteria has impeded development of a comprehensive molecular understanding of this genus. In this review we present a summary of current knowledge on bifidobacterial metabolism, classification, physiology and genetics and outline the currently available methods for genetically accessing and manipulating the genus.
Progress in genomics, metabolism and biotechnology of bifidobacteria / M. Cronin; M. Ventura; G.F. Fitzgerald; D. van Sinderen. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD MICROBIOLOGY. - ISSN 0168-1605. - 149(2011), pp. 4-18. [10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.01.019]