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Genome-scale insights into the metabolic versatility of Limosilactobacillus reuteri

  • 2021-07-30
  • BMC Biotechnology 21(1)
    • Hao Luo
    • Peishun Li
    • Hao Wang
    • S. Roos
    • B. Ji
    • Jens Nielsen


Background: Limosilactobacillus reuteri (earlier known as Lactobacillus reuteri) is a well-studied lactic acid bacterium, with some specific strains used as probiotics, that exists in different hosts such as human, pig, goat, mouse and rat, with multiple body sites such as the gastrointestinal tract, breast milk and mouth. Numerous studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of orally administered specific L. reuteri strains, such as preventing bone loss and promoting regulatory immune system development. L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 is a widely used strain that has been applied in the market as a probiotic due to its positive effects on the human host. Its health benefits may be due, in part, to the production of beneficial metabolites. Considering the strain-specific effects and genetic diversity of L. reuteri strains, we were interested to study the metabolic versatility of these strains.

Results: In this study, we aimed to systematically investigate the metabolic features and diversities of L. reuteri strains by using genome-scale metabolic models (GEMs). The GEM of L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 was reconstructed with a template-based method and curated manually. The final GEM iHL622 of L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 contains 894 reactions and 726 metabolites linked to 622 metabolic genes, which can be used to simulate growth and amino acids utilization. Furthermore, we built GEMs for the other 35 L. reuteri strains from three types of hosts. The comparison of the L. reuteri GEMs identified potential metabolic products linked to the adaptation to the host.

Conclusions: The GEM of L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 can be used to simulate metabolic capabilities and growth. The core and pan model of 35 L. reuteri strains shows metabolic capacity differences both between and within the host groups. The GEMs provide a reliable basis to investigate the metabolism of L. reuteri in detail and their potential benefits on the host.

Keywords: Core metabolism; Limosilactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus; Pan metabolism; Probiotic, Genome-scale metabolic model, Metabolic versatility.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 6475Enhanced Regulatory Immune System DevelopmentBeneficial
Limosilactobacillus reuteri 1E1Enhanced Regulatory Immune System DevelopmentBeneficial
Limosilactobacillus reuteri 1E1Prevented Bone LossBeneficial

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