Butyrivibrio is a genus of bacteria in the family Lachnospiraceae. Members of this genus are considered both gram-positive and gram-negative The genus is composed of two species, B. fibrisolvens and B. crossotus. The flagellar arrangement in B. crossotus is differeent from that of B. fibrisolvens and is characterized by the presence of "tasseled" multiple flagella.
Members of Butyrivibrio are involved in anaerobic digestion, the conversion of a variety of compounds, ranging from insoluble compounds such as cellulose to soluble ones, and the subsequent conversion of these compounds to produce methane and carbon dioxide. The conversion of complex insoluble compounds to soluble simple compounds occurs predominantly through the action of extracellular enzymes (cellulases, lipases and proteases); thus, members of the genera Bacillus, Clostridia, Butyrivibrio and other anaerobes are involved in the initial step.5
Gram-negative staining of Butyrivibrio organisms does not reflect the true nature of their cell wall structure. Chemical and electron microscope analyses revealed an unusually thin gram-positive structure.
Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens represents a significant part of the microbial population in the rumen of cattle and other ruminant animals. These bacteria produce butyric acid (butyrate) and degrade various plant fibers. The species is considered to be the most active bacteria amongst the rumen bacteria populace in terms of production of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a fatty acid with high nutraceutical value and anti-cancerous, anti-atherogenic, immune-modulatory properties.7 The main role of butyrate is to fuel enterocytes, covering 70% of their energy needs and contributing to the regulation of epithelial cell growth and differentiation. Butyrate also exerts anti-inflammatory effect.6
Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens strain 3 utilizes fructose polymers for growth. It synthesizes an enzyme specifically digesting Β-2,6 glycosidic linkages between fructose residues and also an enzyme splitting Β-2,6 and Β-2,1 linkages. Carbon can be the factor inducing the synthesis of some fructanolytic enzymes.4
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