Systematic and applied microbiology

Subspeciation of Bifidobacterium longum by multilocus approaches and amplified fragment length polymorphism: Description of B. longum subsp. suillum subsp. nov., isolated from the faeces of piglets.

PMID 26007614


The species Bifidobacterium longum is currently divided into three subspecies, B. longum subsp. longum, B. longum subsp. infantis and B. longum subsp. suis. This classification was based on an assessment of accumulated information on the species' phenotypic and genotypic features. The three subspecies of B. longum were investigated using genotypic identification [amplified-fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST)]. By using the AFLP and the MLSA methods, we allocated 25 strains of B. longum into three major clusters corresponding to the three subspecies; the cluster comprising the strains of B. longum subsp. suis was further divided into two subclusters differentiable by the ability to produce urease. By using the MLST method, the 25 strains of B. longum were divided into eight groups: four major groups corresponding to the results obtained by AFLP and MLSA, plus four minor disparate groups. The results of AFLP, MLSA and MLST analyses were consistent and revealed a novel subspeciation of B. longum, which comprised three known subspecies and a novel subspecies of urease-negative B. longum, for which the name B. longum subsp. suillum subsp. nov. is proposed, with type strain Su 851(T)=DSM 28597(T)=JCM 19995(T).