Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Kequan Zhou


Currently, increasing numbers of people are suffering from obesity. The gut microbiome becomes a useful approach to control the mechanisms associated with obesity. A novel bacterium, Christensenella minuta, which was discovered in 2012, triggers body weight loss. Our purpose in this study is to further realize characteristics of C. Minuta as a potential probiotic supplement for future obesity studies. This study determines the following characteristics of C. Minuta: DNA identification, turbidity verification, generation time, as well as optimization of pH and temperature. To test the tolerance of C. Minuta as a gastrointestinal treatment, the pH and bile salts concentration in the gastrointestinal tract were mimicked. In this study, the Hungate tube method was involved for anaerobic culture; turbidity absorbance was used to detect bacterial growth; plate-counting method was applied to measure CFU (colony-forming unit). From our findings, the optimal conditions of C. Minuta were found at 37 ºC under pH 7. The generation time of C. Minuta was found to be around 70 min. C. Minuta is sensitive to pH and bile salt, with survivability found at 0.1g/L bile salts and pH 5. In conclusion, encapsulation or another protection is needed when consuming C. Minuta in future animal or human studies.

Included in

Food Science Commons