The gut microbiota is a complex ecosystem composed of hundreds of different bacterial species that altogether play an important role in the physiology of their host. In the past few years the complete genome sequence of a number of bacterial strains isolated from the human gastrointestinal tract has been established including that of Bifidobacterium longum NCC2705 isolated from the feces of a healthy infant. Bifidobacteria are among the first species to colonise the human gastrointestinal tract and as such are believed to play an important role in gut homeostasis and normal development. The genome sequence of NCC2705 has revealed a number of features that suggest how this bacterium has adapted to its environment and that could help understanding how it interacts with its host. Here, we review general features of bifidobacteria and illustrate how genome-based approaches can help us better understand the biology of these organisms. © 2005 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies.
Klijn, A., Mercenier, A., & Arigoni, F. (2005). Lessons from the genomes of bifidobacteria. FEMS Microbiology Reviews. Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.femsre.2005.04.010