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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Gut microbiota functions: metabolism of nutrients and other food components

Magnusdottir et al. [56] have systematically explored the genomes of 256 common gut bacteria for the presence of biosynthetic pathways for eight B vitamins, namely biotin, cobalamin, folate, niacin, pantothenate, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and thiamin. This allowed the authors to predict the proportion of each phylum containing potential producers of each vitamin. Some genomes contained all eight pathways, others none. The most commonly synthesised vitamins were riboflavin (166 potential producers) and niacin (162 producers). For riboflavin and biotin, virtually all microbes from the phyla Bacteroidetes, Fusobacteria and Proteobacteria possessed the necessary pathways, with a much smaller proportion of the Firmicutes and Actinobacteria having the potential for vitamin B biosynthesis. In the case of vitamin B12, all the Fusobacteria, compared with 10–50% of the other four phyla were predicted to be producers. Overall, Bacteroidetes appeared to be the phylum with the greatest number of predicted B vitamin producers. Excluding vitamin B12, over 90% of Bacteroidetes were predicted to be producers.


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