Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 20016T

Colonies of L. reuteri DSM 20016 T on Lactobacilli MRS agar, incubated anaerobically for 48 hours at 37 o C.


The gut of animals, including humans, harbours complex communities of bacteria that are highly adapted to life in this site. As associates of animal hosts throughout evolution, these bacteria must have specialized molecular attributes that allow them to function, and hence persist in the gut environment. Nucleic acid-based methods of analysis have permitted the evaluation of these complex communities in terms of composition. Yet little is known of the functioning of bacterial cells in the gut (how they live there) and what differentiates these bacteria from those that inhabit terrestrial, aquatic, or plant-associated ecosystems (the basis of autochthony). Moreover, the ability of bacteria to persist in the gut is often strain specific but the molecular basis for this specificity is unknown. Lactobacilli are common inhabitants of gut ecosystems and can serve as model bacteria with which to investigate bacterial cell function in relation to life in the gut and autochthony.

L. reuteri DSM 20016 T was isolated from the intestine of an adult human and is the type culture for the species. In contrast to L. reuteri strain 100-23, this strain is unable to colonize the mouse gastrointestinal us it is presumed that DSM 20016 T lacks, or has non-functional, genes required for life in the murine gut. Comparison of the genome sequences of strains 100-23 and DSM 20016 T may yield candidate genes for complementation in DSM 20016 T , or mutation in 100-23. The ecological performance of complemented or mutated derivatives will be assessed using Lactobacillus -free mice.

The taxonomic details of Lactobacillus reuteri (Kandler, O., Weiss, N. 1986. Regular nonsporing gram positive rods. In Sneath, D. H. A., Mair, N. C., Sharpe, M. E., Holt, J. H. eds. Bergey's manual of systematic bacteriology, volume 2, pp. 1208-1234. New York: Williams and Wilkins); are Bacterium; Firmicutes .

The relevance to DOE mission of Lactobacillus reuteri strain DSM 20016 T is of human gut origin. The study of this strain is therefore relevant to the "microbial consortia" mission.

Publications relating to L. reuteri strain DSM 20016 T

Kandler, O., Stetter, K. O., and Kohl, R. 1980. Lactobacillus reuteri sp. Nov., a new species of heterofermentative lactobacilli. Zbl. Bakt. Hyg., I. Abt. Orig. C. 1:264-269.

Morelli, L., Sarra, P. G., Bottazzi, V. 1988. In vivo transfer of pAM beta 1 from Lactobacillus reuteri to Enterococcus faecalis . J. Appl. Bacteriol. 65:371-375.

Tannock, G. W., C. Crichton, G. W. Welling, J. P. Koopman, and T. Midtvedt. 1988. Reconstitution of the gastrointestinal microflora of lactobacillus-free mice. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 54:2971-2975.

Vescovo, M., Dellaglio, F., Bottazzi, V., and Sarra, P. G. 1979. Deoxyribonucleic acid homology among Lactobacillus species of the subgenus Betabacterium Orla-Jensen. Microbiologica 2:317-330.

Wall, T., Roos, S., Jacobsson, K., Rosander, A., and Jonsson, H. 2003. Phage display reveals 52 novel extracellular and transmembrane proteins from Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 20016 T . Microbiology. 149:3493-3505.