Document Type


Date of Original Version



Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Commensal bifidobacteria colonize the human gastrointestinal tract and catabolize glycans that are impervious to host digestion. Accordingly, Bifidobacterium longum typically secretes acetate and lactate as fermentative end products. This study tested the hypothesis that B. longum utilizes cranberry-derived xyloglucans in a strain-dependent manner. Interestingly, the B. longum strain that efficiently utilizes cranberry xyloglucans secretes 2.0 to 2.5 mol of acetate-lactate. The 1.5 acetate:lactate ratio theoretical yield obtained in hexose fermentations shifts during xyloglucan metabolism. Accordingly, this metabolic shift is characterized by increased acetate and formate production at the expense of lactate. α-l-Arabinofuranosidase, an arabinan endo-1,5-α-l-arabinosidase, and a β-xylosidase with a carbohydrate substrate-binding protein and carbohydrate ABC transporter membrane proteins are upregulated (>2-fold change), which suggests carbon flux through this catabolic pathway. Finally, syntrophic interactions occurred with strains that utilize carbohydrate products derived from initial degradation from heterologous bacteria.