Bifidobacteria represent one of the dominant microbial groups that are present in the gut of various animals, being particularly prevalent during the suckling stage of life of humans and other mammals. However, the overall genome structure of this group of microorganisms remains largely unexplored. Here, we sequenced the genomes of 42 representative (sub)species across the Bifidobacterium genus and used this information to explore the overall genetic picture of this bacterial group. Furthermore, the genomic data described here were used to reconstruct the evolutionary development of the Bifidobacterium genus. This reconstruction suggests that its evolution was substantially influenced by genetic adaptations to obtain access to glycans, thereby representing a common and potent evolutionary force in shaping bifidobacterial genomes.
Genomic encyclopedia of type strains of the genus Bifidobacterium / Milani, Christian; Lugli, Gabriele Andrea; Duranti, Sabrina; Turroni, Francesca; Francesca, Bottacini; Marta, Mangifesta; Borja, Sanchez; Alice, Viappiani; Leonardo, Mancabelli; Bernard, Taminiau; Veronique, Delcenserie; Rodoplhe, Barrangou; Abelardo, Margolles; Douwe van, Sinderen; Ventura, Marco. - In: APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY. - ISSN 1098-5336. - 80:20(2014), pp. 6290-6302. [10.1128/AEM.02308-14]