Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 160, Issue 2, pp 144–151 | Cite as

Transport and metabolism of glucose and arabinose in Bifidobacterium breve

  • B. A. Degnan
  • G. T. Macfarlane
Original Papers


Glucose was required for the transport of arabinose into Bifidobacterium breve. The non-metabolisable glucose analogue 2-deoxy-d-glucose (2-DG) did not facilitate assimilation of arabinose. Studies using d-[U-14C]-labelled arabinose showed that it was fermented to pyruvate, formate, lactate and acetate, whereas the principal metabolic products of d-[U-14C]-labelled glucose were acetate and formate. In contrast to glucose, arabinose was not incorporated into cellular macromolecules. A variety of metabolic inhibitors and inhibitors of sugar transport (proton ionophores, metal ionophores, compounds associated with electron transport) were used to investigate the mechanisms of sugar uptake. Only NaF, an inhibitor of substrate level phosphorylation, and 2-DG inhibited glucose assimilation. 2-DG had no effect on arabinose uptake, but NaF was stimulatory. High levels of phosphorylation of glucose and 2-DG by PEP and to a lesser degree, ATP were seen in phosphoenolpyruvate: phosphotransferase (PEP:PTS) assays. These data together with strong inhibition of glucose uptake by NaF suggest a role for phosphorylation in the transport process. Arabinose uptake in B. breve was not directly dependent on phosphorylation or any other energy-linked form of transport but may be assimilated by glucose-dependent facilitated diffusion.

Key words

Bifidobacterium breve Phosphorylation- Phosphoenolpyruvate: phosphotransferase system Fermentation 





carbonylcyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone


(phosphoenolpyruvate phosphotransferase system)


trichloroacetic acid






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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. A. Degnan
    • 1
  • G. T. Macfarlane
    • 1
  1. 1.Dunn Clinical Nutrition CentreMedical Research CouncilCambridgeUK

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