Posts Tagged ‘gut’
A nice post from by Karen Schwarzberg and Mike Gurney at Small Things Considered (The Microbe Blog) discussing a paper recently published in Nature by Hehemann et al. which reports that, in at least one particular instance, we do harbor bacteria adapted to the traditional diet of our culture. Porphyranases are glycosyl hydrolases cleaving sulphated polysaccharides of carrageenan and agar from marine algae. These enzymes found in marine bacteria are common in Japanese—and only Japanese—intestinal microbiota. The Japanese can digest their nori (Porphyra) thanks to specific strains of Bacteroides plebeius that they host. The initial acquisition of the β-porphyranase genes by B. plebeius was likely by horizontal transfer from a marine Bacteroidetes.
Hehemann, J., Correc, G., Barbeyron, T., Helbert, W., Czjzek, M., & Michel, G. (2010). Transfer of carbohydrate-active enzymes from marine bacteria to Japanese gut microbiota Nature, 464 (7290), 908-912 DOI: 10.1038/nature08937
Photo: Cabbage Nori Rolls.© http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/05/cabbage-nori-rolls.html