Comparative genomics of Bifidobacterium species isolated from marmosets and humans

Celeste J. Brown, Dorah Mtui, Benjamin P. Oswald, James T. Van Leuven, Eric J. Vallender, Nancy Schultz-Darken, Corinna N. Ross, Suzette D. Tardif, Steven N. Austad, Larry J. Forney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The genus Bifidobacterium is purported to have beneficial consequences for human health and is a major component of many gastrointestinal probiotics. Although species of Bifidobacterium are generally at low relative frequency in the adult human gastrointestinal tract, they can constitute high proportions of the gastrointestinal communities of adult marmosets. To identify genes that might be important for the maintenance of Bifidobacterium in adult marmosets, ten strains of Bifidobacterium were isolated from the feces of seven adult marmosets, and their genomes were sequenced. There were six B. reuteri strains, two B. callitrichos strains, one B. myosotis sp. nov. and one B. tissieri sp. nov. among our isolates. Phylogenetic analysis showed that three of the four species we isolated were most closely related to B. bifidum, B. breve and B. longum, which are species found in high abundance in human infants. There were 1357 genes that were shared by at least one strain of B. reuteri, B. callitrichos, B. breve, and B. longum, and 987 genes that were found in all strains of the four species. There were 106 genes found in B. reuteri and B. callitrichos but not in human bifidobacteria, and several of these genes were involved in nutrient uptake. These pathways for nutrient uptake appeared to be specific to Bifidobacterium from New World monkeys. Additionally, the distribution of Bifidobacterium in fecal samples from captive adult marmosets constituted as much as 80% of the gut microbiome, although this was variable between individuals and colonies. We suggest that nutrient transporters may be important for the maintenance of Bifidobacterium during adulthood in marmosets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere983
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
Issue number10-11
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Bifidobacterium
  • genomics
  • humans
  • marmosets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparative genomics of Bifidobacterium species isolated from marmosets and humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this