ABSTRACT: Because probiotic effects are strain dependent, genomic explanations of these differences will contribute to understanding their mechanisms of action. The genomic sequence of the Bifidobacterium longum probiotic strain NCC2705 was determined, but little is known about the genetic diversity between strains of this species. Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) is a powerful method for generating a set of DNA fragments differing between two closely related bacterial strains. The purpose of this study was to identify genetic differences between genomes of B. longum strains NCC2705 and CRC-002 using PCR-based SSH. Strain CRC-002 produces exopolysaccharides whereas NCC2705 is not known for reliable exopolysaccharide production. Thirty-five and 30 different sequences were obtained from the SSH libraries of strains CRC-002 and NCC2705, respectively. Specific CRC-002 genes found were predicted to be involved in the biosynthesis of exopolysaccharides and metabolism of other carbohydrates, and these genes were not present in the genome of strain NCC2705. The identification of an endo-1,4-beta-xylanase gene in the CRC-002 SSH library is an important difference because xylanase genes have previously been proposed as a defining characteristic of the NCC2705 strain. The results demonstrate that the SSH technique was useful to highlight potential genes involved in complex sugar metabolism that differ between the two probiotic strains.
FEMS Microbiology Letters 04/2008; 280(1):50-6. · 2.04 Impact Factor