Fungal β-glucan-facilitated cross-feeding activities between Bacteroides and Bifidobacterium species

Pedro Jesús Fernández Juliá, Gary W. Black, William Cheung, Douwe Van Sinderen, Jose Munoz-Munoz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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The human gut microbiota (HGM) is comprised of a very complex network of microorganisms, which interact with the host thereby impacting on host health and well-being. β-glucan has been established as a dietary polysaccharide supporting growth of particular gut-associated bacteria, including members of the genera Bacteroides and Bifidobacterium, the latter considered to represent beneficial or probiotic bacteria. However, the exact mechanism underpinning β-glucan metabolism by gut commensals is not fully understood. We show that mycoprotein represents an excellent source for β-glucan, which is consumed by certain Bacteroides species as primary degraders, such as Bacteroides cellulosilyticus WH2. The latter bacterium employs two extracellular, endo-acting enzymes, belonging to glycoside hydrolase families 30 and 157, to degrade mycoprotein-derived β-glucan, thereby releasing oligosaccharides into the growth medium. These released oligosaccharides can in turn be utilized by other gut microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactiplantibacillus, which thus act as secondary degraders. We used a cross-feeding approach to track how both species are able to grow in co-culture.
Original languageEnglish
Article number576
Number of pages14
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2023

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