The draft genomes of Lactobacillus plantarum strains isolated from Asian fermented foods, infant feces, and shrimp intestines were sequenced and compared to those of well-studied strains. Among 28 strains of L. plantarum, variations in the genomic features involved in ecological adaptation were elucidated. The genome sizes ranged from approximately 3.1 to 3.5 Mb, of which about 2,932 to 3,345 protein-coding sequences (CDS) were predicted. The food-derived isolates contained a higher number of carbohydrate metabolism-associated genes than those from infant feces. This observation correlated to their phenotypic carbohydrate metabolic profile, indicating their ability to metabolize the largest range of sugars. Surprisingly, two strains (P14 and P76) isolated from fermented fish utilized inulin. β-Fructosidase, the inulin-degrading enzyme, was detected in the supernatants and cell wall extracts of both strains. No activity was observed in the cytoplasmic fraction, indicating that this key enzyme was either membrane-bound or extracellularly secreted. From genomic mining analysis, a predicted inulin operon of fosRABCDXE, which encodes β-fructosidase and many fructose transporting proteins, was found within the genomes of strains P14 and P76. Moreover, pts1BCA genes, encoding sucrose-specific IIBCA components involved in sucrose transport, were also identified. The proteomic analysis revealed the mechanism and functional characteristic of the fosRABCDXE operon involved in the inulin utilization of L. plantarum. The expression levels of the fos operon and pst genes were upregulated at mid-log phase. FosE and the LPXTG-motif cell wall anchored β-fructosidase were induced to a high abundance when inulin was present as a carbon source.