Comparative genomics of lactic acid bacteria reveals a niche-specific gene set
Fitzgerald, Gerald F.
Ross, R. Paul
Beresford, Thomas P.
Background: The recently sequenced genome of Lactobacillus helveticus DPC4571 revealed a dairy organism with significant homology (75% of genes are homologous) to a probiotic bacteria Lb. acidophilus NCFM. This led us to hypothesise that a group of genes could be determined which could define an organism's niche. Results: Taking 11 fully sequenced lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as our target, (3 dairy LAB, 5 gut LAB and 3 multi-niche LAB), we demonstrated that the presence or absence of certain genes involved in sugar metabolism, the proteolytic system, and restriction modification enzymes were pivotal in suggesting the niche of a strain. We identified 9 niche specific genes, of which 6 are dairy specific and 3 are gut specific. The dairy specific genes identified in Lactobacillus helveticus DPC4571 were lhv_1161 and lhv_1171, encoding components of the proteolytic system, lhv_1031 lhv_1152,lhv_1978 and lhv_0028 encoding restriction endonuclease genes, while bile salt hydrolase genes lba_0892 and lba_1078, and the sugar metabolism gene lba_1689 from Lb. acidophilus NCFM were identified as gut specific genes. Conclusion: Comparative analysis revealed that if an organism had homologs to the dairy specific geneset, it probably came from a dairy environment, whilst if it had homologs to gut specific genes, it was highly likely to be of intestinal origin. We propose that this "barcode" of 9 genes will be a useful initial guide to researchers in the LAB field to indicate an organism's ability to occupy a specific niche.
Lactobacillus helveticus , Latctobacillus acidophilus , Dairy , Probiotic bacteria , Lactic acid , Homolog , Gut , Niche
O'Sullivan O, O'Callaghan J, Sangrador-Vegas A, McAuliffe O, Slattery L, Kaleta P, Callanan M, Fitzgerald GF, Ross RP, Beresford T. Comparative genomics of lactic acid bacteria reveals a niche-specific gene set. BMC Microbiol. 2009 Mar 5; 9:50. doi: 10.1186/1471-2180-9-50