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Dietary perturbations alter the ecological significance of ingested Lactobacillus plantarum in the digestive tract.


Host diet is a major determinant of the composition and function of the intestinal microbiome. Less understood is the importance of diet on ingested strains with probiotic significance. We investigated the population dynamics of exogenous Lactobacillus plantarum and its interactions with intestinal bacteria in mice undergoing switches between high-fat, high-sugar (HFHSD) and low-fat, plant-polysaccharide rich (LFPPD) diets. The survival and persistence of ingested L. plantarum WCFS1 was significantly improved during mouse consumption of HFHSD and was negatively associated with the numbers of indigenous Lactobacillus species. Diet also rapidly changed the composition of the indigenous microbiota, but with some taxa differentially affected between HFHSD periods. L. plantarum was not integrated into indigenous bacterial community networks according to co-occurrence patterns but still conferred distinct effects on bacterial species diversity and microbiota stability largely in a diet-dependent manner. Metagenome predictions supported the premise that L. plantarum dampens the effects of diet on the microbiome. This strain also consistently altered the predicted genetic content in the distal gut by enriching for genes encoding glyosyltransferases and bile salt hydrolases. Our findings demonstrate the interactions between ingested, transient probiotic bacteria and intestinal bacterial communities and how they can differ depending on host diet.

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