Molecular genetics for probiotic engineering: dissecting lactic acid bacteria

Ronit Suissa, Rela Oved, Gavi Jankelowitz, Sondra Turjeman, Omry Koren, Ilana Kolodkin-Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The composition of the gut microbiome is greatly influenced by nutrition and dietary alterations which can also induce large temporary microbial shifts. However, the molecular mechanisms that promote these changes remain to be determined. Species of the family Lactobacillaceae and Bacillus species are genetically manipulatable bacteria that are naturally found in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract and are often considered models of beneficial microbiota. Here, we identify specific conserved molecular pathways that play a key role in host colonization by beneficial members of the microbiota. In particular, we highlight three pathways important to the success of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in the GI tract: glycolysis and fermentation, microbial communication via membrane vesicles, and condition-dependent antibiotic production. We elaborate on how the understanding of these circuits can lead to the development of novel therapeutic approaches to combat GI tract infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-306
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • adhesion
  • antibiotics
  • genetics
  • lactobacillaceae
  • nutrition
  • probiotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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