Members of the genus Bifidobacterium are dominant and symbiotic inhabitants of the mammalian gastrointestinal tract. Being vertically transmitted, bifidobacterial host colonization commences immediately after birth and leads to a phase of host infancy during which bifidobacteria are highly prevalent and abundant to then transit to a reduced, yet stable abundance phase during host adulthood. However, in order to reach and stably colonize their elective niche, i.e. the large intestine, bifidobacteria have to cope with a multitude of oxidative, osmotic and bile salt/acid stress challenges that occur along the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Concurrently, bifidobacteria not only have to compete with the myriad of other gut commensals for nutrient acquisition, but they also require protection against bacterial viruses. In this context, Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) techniques, allowing large-scale comparative and functional genome analyses have helped to identify the genetic strategies that bifidobacteria have developed in order to colonize, survive and adopt to the highly competitive mammalian gastrointestinal environment. The current review is aimed at providing a comprehensive overview concerning the molecular strategies on which bifidobacteria rely to stably and successfully colonize the mammalian gut.
The genus bifidobacterium: From genomics to functionality of an important component of the mammalian gut microbiota running title: Bifidobacterial adaptation to and interaction with the host / Alessandri, G.; van Sinderen, D.; Ventura, M.. - In: COMPUTATIONAL AND STRUCTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY JOURNAL. - ISSN 2001-0370. - 19(2021), pp. 1472-1487. [10.1016/j.csbj.2021.03.006]
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