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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
Department of Food Science and Nutrition

PI: Daniel J. O’Sullivan

Comparative Genome Analysis of Two Strains of Bifidobacterium longum

Bifidobacterium longum is a dominant inhabitant in the large intestine of humans and numerous animals. Its presence in high numbers in the intestine is generally associated with a healthy intestine. Its health benefits include protection from diarrhea-causing bacteria and prevention of colon cancer by breaking down dietary carcinogens. For this reason, it is a prominent member of the probiotic cultures, which are ingested for health benefits.

These researchers have undertaken a genomics approach to better understand the characteristics of a B. longum strain that is important for probiotics. The complete genome sequence of Bifidobacterium longum DJO10A was elucidated in a collaborative effort involving the O’Sullivan laboratory, the Joint Genome Institute (JGI), and the Lactic Acid Bacteria Genome Consortium (LABGC). The genome consists of a chromosome ca 2.1 Mb and two plasmids of 10.0 and 3.6 kb. The researchers have compared this genome to a published genome sequence for another B. longum strain, strain NCC2705. This comparative analysis pointed to regions of the genome that may be important for survival in the human gut. The researchers are currently furthering their bioinformatic mining of this genome through broader comparative efforts.

Group Member

Ju-Hoon Lee, Research Associate