Gordonibacter urolithinfaciens sp. nov., a urolithin-producing bacterium isolated from the human gut

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2014 Jul;64(Pt 7):2346-2352. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.055095-0. Epub 2014 Apr 17.


Urolithins are dibenzopyranone metabolites that exert anti-inflammatory activity in vivo and are produced by the gut microbiota from the dietary polyphenols ellagic acid (EA) and ellagitannins. However, the bacteria involved in this process remain unknown. We report here a novel bacterium, strain CEBAS 1/15P(T), capable of metabolizing EA to urolithins, that was isolated from healthy human faeces and characterized by determining phenotypic, biochemical and molecular methods. The strain was related to Gordonibacter pamelaeae 7-10-1-b(T), the type and only reported strain of the only species of the genus Gordonibacter, with about 97% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity; they were both obligately anaerobic, non-spore-forming, Gram-stain-positive, short-rods/coccobacilli and metabolized only small numbers of carbon sources. L-Fucose, D-fructose, turanose, D-galacturonic acid and α-ketobutyric acid were metabolized by strain CEBAS 1/15P(T), while G. pamelaeae was negative for metabolism of these compounds. The whole-cell fatty acids consisted predominantly of saturated fatty acids (70%); strain CEBAS 1/15P(T) differed significantly from G. pamelaeae in the major fatty acid, which was C18 : 1ω9c, while anteiso-C15 : 0 was the major component for G. pamelaeae. The presence of a number of different fatty acid peaks, especially C19 : 0 cyclo and C18 : 1ω6c, was also indicative of distinct species. Six glycolipids (GL1-6) were recognized, while, in G. pamelaeae, only four glycolipids were described. On the basis of these data, the novel species Gordonibacter urolithinfaciens sp. nov. is described, with strain CEBAS 1/15P(T) ( = DSM 27213(T) = CCUG 64261(T)) as the type strain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actinobacteria / classification*
  • Actinobacteria / genetics
  • Actinobacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Coumarins / metabolism*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Glycolipids / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spain
  • Vitamin K 2 / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin K 2 / chemistry


  • Coumarins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Fatty Acids
  • Glycolipids
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Vitamin K 2
  • 3,8-dihydroxy-6H-dibenzo(b,d)pyran-6-one
  • menaquinone 6

Associated data

  • GENBANK/HG000667