AbstractTaurine-respiring gut bacteria produce H2S with ambivalent impact on host health. We report the isolation and ecophysiological characterization of a taurine-respiring mouse gut bacterium. Taurinivorans muris strain LT0009 represents a new widespread species that differs from the human gut sulfidogen Bilophila wadsworthia in its sulfur metabolism pathways and host distribution. T. muris specializes in taurine respiration in vivo, seemingly unaffected by mouse diet and genotype, but is dependent on other bacteria for release of taurine from bile acids. Colonization of T. muris in gnotobiotic mice increased deconjugation of taurine-conjugated bile acids and transcriptional activity of a sulfur metabolism gene-encoding prophage in other commensals, and slightly decreased the abundance of Salmonella enterica, which showed reduced expression of galactonate catabolism genes. Re-analysis of metagenome data from a previous study further suggested that T. muris can contribute to protection against pathogens by the commensal mouse gut microbiota. Together, we show the realized physiological niche of a key murine gut sulfidogen and its interactions with selected gut microbiota members.
Microbiome research is hampered by the fact that many bacteria are still unknown and by the lack of publicly available isolates. Fundamental and clinical research is in need of comprehensive and well-curated repositories of cultured bacteria from the intestine of mammalian hosts. In this work, we expanded the mouse intestinal bacterial collection (www.dsmz.de/miBC) to 212 strains, all publicly available and taxonomically described. This includes the study of strain-level diversity, small-sized bacteria, and the isolation and characterization of the first cultured members of one novel family, 10 novel genera, and 39 novel species. We demonstrate the value of this collection by performing two studies. First, metagenome-educated design allowed establishing custom synthetic communities (SYNs) that reflect different susceptibilities to DSS-induced colitis. Second, nine phylogenetically and functionally diverse species were used to amend the Oligo-Mouse Microbiota (OMM)12 model [Brugiroux et al. 2016 Nat Microbiol]. These strains compensated for differences observed between gnotobiotic OMM12 and specific pathogen-free (SPF) mice at multiple levels, including body composition and immune cell populations (e.g., T-cell subtypes) in the intestine and associated lymphoid tissues. Ready-to-use OMM stocks are available to the community for use in future studies. In conclusion, this work improves our knowledge of gut microbiota diversity in mice and enables functional studies via the modular use of isolates.