Indexed on: 13 May '06Published on: 13 May '06Published in: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Gentiooligosaccharides and alternansucrase gentiobiose acceptor products were fractionated by their degree of polymerization (DP) on a Bio-Gel P2 column. Fractions were characterized by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectroscopy, and incubated with human faecal bacteria under anaerobic conditions at 37 degrees C. The growth of predominant gut bacteria on the oligosaccharides was evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization and a prebiotic index (PI) was calculated. Lower DP gentiooligosaccharides (DP2-3) showed the highest selectivity (PI of 4.89 and 3.40, respectively), whereas DP4-5 alternansucrase gentiobiose acceptor products generated the greatest values (PI of 5.87). The production of short-chain fatty acids was also determined during the time course of the reactions. The mixture of DP6-10 alternansucrase gentiobiose acceptor products generated the highest levels of butyric acid but the lowest levels of lactic acid. Generally, for similar molecular weights, alternansucrase gentiobiose acceptor products gave higher PI values than gentiooligosaccharides.