Presented by: Pedro Jesús Fernández Juliá
This project is going to explore how human gut Bacteroides spp. and Bifidobacterium spp can use β-glucan from the microfungus Fusarium venenatum, which is used to elaborate mycoprotein of QUORN® products. The study is focused on the search of the metabolic pathways for the β-glucan degradation together with the presumable cross-feeding relations established between different members of the Human Gut Microbiota (HGM) involved in the process.
The human gut microbiota (HGM) contributes to the physiology and health of its host in a variety of ways, maintaining gut homeostasis and modulating the immune system but also allowing the use of a wide range of substrates, specially polysaccharides whose intact structures are not digest by human intestinal enzymes. The health benefits provided by dietary manipulation of the HGM require knowledge of how polysaccharides may shape the gut microbiota community, specially β-glucans which have been described as potential prebiotics. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of action underpinning these health effects related to β-glucans are still unclear, and the its precise impact on the gut microbiota has been subject to debate and revision.
The utilization of a mixed linkage fungal β-glucan as a energy source by gut bacteria species have not been studied so far, and it will clarify the different effects that these polysaccharides may have on the populations of gut bacteria and the health of the host, showing us its potential as a new prebiotic and its power as a realistic alternative for the excessive meat consumption in the current fat-based diet.
Pedro Jesús Fernández Juliá – Poster Description (Audio Clip)