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Dr. Ahmed Ghamry Ali Abdelhamid :: Publications:

Comparative genomics of the gut commensal Bifidobacterium bifidum reveals adaptation to carbohydrate utilization
Authors: Ahmed G Abdelhamid; Noha K El-Dougdoug
Year: 2021
Keywords: Not Available
Journal: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume: 547
Issue: Not Available
Pages: 155-161
Publisher: Not Available
Local/International: International
Paper Link:
Full paper Not Available
Supplementary materials Not Available

Bifidobacterium bifidum is one of the most abundant members of the gut microbiota at the early stage of life. The established association of the bacterium with the human gut confers health benefits. Such successful persistence of B. bifidum necessitates metabolic adaptation to the host–derived carbohydrates, a process which is poorly understood. The current study focuses on revealing the genomic-based phylogeny (phylogenomics) of B. bifidum and utilizing comparative genomics to decipher the glycolytic abilities of bifidobacterial strains isolated from different human body niches (feces, human gut, vagina, and breast milk). When the phylogenomic analysis was performed on 95 B. bifidum strains, currently available on the RefSeq database, the bacterium was clearly distinguished from other members of the Bifidobacterium genus. Furthermore, a pairwise genomic comparison indicated that a large proportion of orthologous gene families were shared among the B. bifidum strains. These findings highlight the notion that the B. bifidum species is genetically similar and may perform similar functions in their host. When 15 B. bifidum genomes representing strains from different human body niches were annotated, the resulting functional profile showed the presence of enriched proteins involved in carbohydrate utilization. Moreover, mining the 15 B. bifidum genomes for the presence of Carbohydrate–Active Enzyme (CAZY) systems, the analysis found the existence of diverse protein families which include glycosyl hydrolases, glycosyl transferases, carbohydrate-binding modules, and carbohydrate esterases. Collectively, these CAZY systems enables B. bifidum to utilize host–derived glycans (e.g., mucin) and diet–derived carbohydrates (e.g., starch). In contrast, a correlation analysis revealed that B. bifidum strains isolated from the different body niches were indistinguishable in the context of presence–absence of CAZY systems. These findings emphasize the valuable use of comparative genomics in deciphering the glycolytic abilities of B. bifidum and consequently its adaptation to carbohydrate utilization in the human gut environment.

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