Structurally-diversified bile acids (BAs) are involved in shaping of intestinal microbiota as well as absorption of dietary lipids. Taurocholic acid, a conjugated form of BA, has been reported to be a factor triggering germination of a wide range of spore-forming bacteria in intestine. To test a hypothesis that other BAs also promote germination of intestinal bacteria, we attempted culture of bacteria from ethanol-treated feces by using a series of BAs. It was found that conjugated-BAs, notably three glycine-conjugated BAs, glycodeoxycholic acid and glycochenodeoxycholic acid, significantly increased the number and the species variety of colonies formed on the agar plate. These colonized bacteria mostly belonged to class Clostridia, mainly consisting of families Lachnospiraceae, Clostridiaceae, and Peptostreptococcaceae. There were several types of bacteria associated with different sensitivity to each BA. Eventually, we isolated 72 bacterial species of which 61 are known and 11 novel. These results demonstrate that the culturable range of bacteria in intestine can be widened using the germination-inducing activity of BAs. This approach would advance the research on spore-forming Clostridia that contains important but difficult-to-cultured bacteria associate with host health and diseases.
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