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γ-Aminobutyric acid production by culturable bacteria from the human intestine

Authors

  • E. Barrett,

    1. Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, Biosciences Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
    2. Teagasc Food Research Programme, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland
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  • R.P. Ross,

    1. Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, Biosciences Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
    2. Teagasc Food Research Programme, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland
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  • P.W. O'Toole,

    1. Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, Biosciences Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
    2. Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
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  • G.F. Fitzgerald,

    1. Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, Biosciences Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
    2. Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
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  • C. Stanton

    Corresponding author
    1. Teagasc Food Research Programme, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland
    • Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, Biosciences Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
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Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Corrigendum Volume 116, Issue 5, 1384–1386, Article first published online: 11 April 2014

Correspondence

Catherine Stanton, Teagasc Food Research Programme, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland. E-mail: catherine.stanton@teagasc.ie

Abstract

Aims

To assess the ability of human intestinally derived strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium to produce γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Methods and Results

Strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were grown in medium containing monosodium glutamate (MSG). Growth of the bacteria and conversion of MSG to GABA were measured. Of 91 intestinally derived bacteria assessed, one Lactobacillus strain and four strains of Bifidobacterium produced GABA. Lactobacillus brevis DPC6108 was the most efficient of the strains tested, converting up to 100% of MSG to GABA. The ability of the cultured intestinal strains to produce GABA was investigated using a simple pH-controlled anaerobic faeces-based fermentation, supplemented with 30 mg ml−1 MSG. The addition of Lact. brevis DPC6108 to a faeces-based fermentation significantly increased the GABA concentration (P < 0·001), supporting the notion that this biosynthesis could occur in vivo.

Conclusions

The production of GABA by bifidobacteria exhibited considerable interspecies variation. Lactobacillus brevis and Bifidobacterium dentium were the most efficient GABA producers among the range of strains tested. The addition of Lact. brevis DPC6108 to the culturable gut microbiota increased the GABA concentration in fermented faecal slurry at physiological pH.

Significance and Impact of the Study

Identification of optimal MSG conversion to GABA by particular cultured elements of the commensal intestinal microbiota and the demonstration that this can occur under simulated in vivo conditions offer new prospects for microbiota modulation to promote health.

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