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      Glycan foraging in vivo by an intestine-adapted bacterial symbiont.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

      Adaptation, Physiological, Animals, Bacterial Proteins, genetics, metabolism, Bacteroides, enzymology, growth & development, Cecum, microbiology, Cluster Analysis, Diet, Dietary Carbohydrates, Ecosystem, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Germ-Free Life, Glycoside Hydrolases, Hexoses, Intestines, Male, Mice, Mucus, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Operon, Polysaccharide-Lyases, Polysaccharides, Symbiosis, Transcription, Genetic, Up-Regulation

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          Abstract

          Germ-free mice were maintained on polysaccharide-rich or simple-sugar diets and colonized for 10 days with an organism also found in human guts, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, followed by whole-genome transcriptional profiling of bacteria and mass spectrometry of cecal glycans. We found that these bacteria assembled on food particles and mucus, selectively induced outer-membrane polysaccharide-binding proteins and glycoside hydrolases, prioritized the consumption of liberated hexose sugars, and revealed a capacity to turn to host mucus glycans when polysaccharides were absent from the diet. This flexible foraging behavior should contribute to ecosystem stability and functional diversity.

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          Journal
          15790854
          10.1126/science.1109051

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