Characterization of Polysaccharides from Feijoa Fruits (Acca sellowiana Berg.) and Their Utilization as Growth Substrates by Gut Commensal Bacteroides Species

© 2018 American Chemical Society. Polysaccharides from feijoa fruit were extracted and analyzed; the composition of these polysaccharides conforms to those typically found in the primary cell walls of eudicotyledons. The two major polysaccharide extracts consisted of mainly pectic polysaccharides and hemicellulosic polysaccharides [xyloglucan (77%) and arabinoxylan (16%)]. A collection of commensal Bacteroides species was screened for growth in culture using these polysaccharide preparations and placed into five categories based on their preference for each substrate. Most of the species tested could utilize the pectic polysaccharides, but growth on the hemicellulose was more limited. Constituent sugar and glycosyl linkage analysis showed that species that grew on the hemicellulose fraction showed differences in their preference for the two polysaccharides in this preparation. Our data demonstrate that the members of the genus Bacteroides show differential hydrolysis of pectic polysaccharides, xyloglucan, and arabinoxylan, which might influence the structure and metabolic activities of the microbiota in the human gut.