Ruminococcus bromii is a keystone species for the degradation of resistant starch in the human colon

Xiaolei Ze, Sylvia Helen Duncan, Petra Louis, Harry James Flint (Corresponding Author)

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278 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The release of energy from particulate substrates such as dietary fiber and resistant starch (RS) in the human colon may depend on the presence of specialist primary degraders (or ‘keystone species’) within the microbial community. We have explored the roles of four dominant amylolytic bacteria found in the human colon in the degradation and utilization of resistant starches. Eubacterium rectale and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron showed limited ability to utilize RS2- and RS3-resistant starches by comparison with Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Ruminococcus bromii. In co-culture, however, R. bromii proved unique in stimulating RS2 and RS3 utilization by the other three bacterial species, even in a medium that does not permit growth of R. bromii itself. Having previously demonstrated low RS3 fermentation in vivo in two individuals with undetectable populations of R. bromii-related bacteria, we show here that supplementation of mixed fecal bacteria from one of these volunteers with R. bromii, but not with the other three species, greatly enhanced the extent of RS3 fermentation in vitro. This argues strongly that R. bromii has a pivotal role in fermentation of RS3 in the human large intestine, and that variation in the occurrence of this species and its close relatives may be a primary cause of variable energy recovery from this important component of the diet. This work also indicates that R. bromii possesses an exceptional ability to colonize and degrade starch particles when compared with previously studied amylolytic bacteria from the human colon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1535-1543
Number of pages9
JournalThe ISME Journal
Volume6
Issue number8
Early online date16 Feb 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

Ruminococcus bromii
Ruminococcus
keystone species
resistant starch
starch
Starch
colon
Colon
Fermentation
fermentation
Bacteria
degradation
Aptitude
bacterium
Eubacterium
bacteria
Large Intestine
Dietary Fiber
Coculture Techniques
Eubacterium rectale

Keywords

  • energy harvest
  • resistant starch
  • human colon
  • anaerobes
  • gut microbiota
  • primary degrader

Cite this

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title = "Ruminococcus bromii is a keystone species for the degradation of resistant starch in the human colon",
abstract = "The release of energy from particulate substrates such as dietary fiber and resistant starch (RS) in the human colon may depend on the presence of specialist primary degraders (or ‘keystone species’) within the microbial community. We have explored the roles of four dominant amylolytic bacteria found in the human colon in the degradation and utilization of resistant starches. Eubacterium rectale and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron showed limited ability to utilize RS2- and RS3-resistant starches by comparison with Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Ruminococcus bromii. In co-culture, however, R. bromii proved unique in stimulating RS2 and RS3 utilization by the other three bacterial species, even in a medium that does not permit growth of R. bromii itself. Having previously demonstrated low RS3 fermentation in vivo in two individuals with undetectable populations of R. bromii-related bacteria, we show here that supplementation of mixed fecal bacteria from one of these volunteers with R. bromii, but not with the other three species, greatly enhanced the extent of RS3 fermentation in vitro. This argues strongly that R. bromii has a pivotal role in fermentation of RS3 in the human large intestine, and that variation in the occurrence of this species and its close relatives may be a primary cause of variable energy recovery from this important component of the diet. This work also indicates that R. bromii possesses an exceptional ability to colonize and degrade starch particles when compared with previously studied amylolytic bacteria from the human colon.",
keywords = "energy harvest, resistant starch, human colon, anaerobes, gut microbiota, primary degrader",
author = "Xiaolei Ze and Duncan, {Sylvia Helen} and Petra Louis and Flint, {Harry James}",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Ruminococcus bromii is a keystone species for the degradation of resistant starch in the human colon

AU - Ze, Xiaolei

AU - Duncan, Sylvia Helen

AU - Louis, Petra

AU - Flint, Harry James

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - The release of energy from particulate substrates such as dietary fiber and resistant starch (RS) in the human colon may depend on the presence of specialist primary degraders (or ‘keystone species’) within the microbial community. We have explored the roles of four dominant amylolytic bacteria found in the human colon in the degradation and utilization of resistant starches. Eubacterium rectale and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron showed limited ability to utilize RS2- and RS3-resistant starches by comparison with Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Ruminococcus bromii. In co-culture, however, R. bromii proved unique in stimulating RS2 and RS3 utilization by the other three bacterial species, even in a medium that does not permit growth of R. bromii itself. Having previously demonstrated low RS3 fermentation in vivo in two individuals with undetectable populations of R. bromii-related bacteria, we show here that supplementation of mixed fecal bacteria from one of these volunteers with R. bromii, but not with the other three species, greatly enhanced the extent of RS3 fermentation in vitro. This argues strongly that R. bromii has a pivotal role in fermentation of RS3 in the human large intestine, and that variation in the occurrence of this species and its close relatives may be a primary cause of variable energy recovery from this important component of the diet. This work also indicates that R. bromii possesses an exceptional ability to colonize and degrade starch particles when compared with previously studied amylolytic bacteria from the human colon.

AB - The release of energy from particulate substrates such as dietary fiber and resistant starch (RS) in the human colon may depend on the presence of specialist primary degraders (or ‘keystone species’) within the microbial community. We have explored the roles of four dominant amylolytic bacteria found in the human colon in the degradation and utilization of resistant starches. Eubacterium rectale and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron showed limited ability to utilize RS2- and RS3-resistant starches by comparison with Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Ruminococcus bromii. In co-culture, however, R. bromii proved unique in stimulating RS2 and RS3 utilization by the other three bacterial species, even in a medium that does not permit growth of R. bromii itself. Having previously demonstrated low RS3 fermentation in vivo in two individuals with undetectable populations of R. bromii-related bacteria, we show here that supplementation of mixed fecal bacteria from one of these volunteers with R. bromii, but not with the other three species, greatly enhanced the extent of RS3 fermentation in vitro. This argues strongly that R. bromii has a pivotal role in fermentation of RS3 in the human large intestine, and that variation in the occurrence of this species and its close relatives may be a primary cause of variable energy recovery from this important component of the diet. This work also indicates that R. bromii possesses an exceptional ability to colonize and degrade starch particles when compared with previously studied amylolytic bacteria from the human colon.

KW - energy harvest

KW - resistant starch

KW - human colon

KW - anaerobes

KW - gut microbiota

KW - primary degrader

U2 - 10.1038/ismej.2012.4

DO - 10.1038/ismej.2012.4

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