Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lactic Acid Bacteria: Zesty Microbes Enliven The Palate, Provide Better Blueprint For Biofuels And Specialty Chemical Production

Date:
November 4, 2006
Source:
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Summary:
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and their colleagues have characterized the genome sequences of nine different lactic acid-producing bacteria, or LAB, and have published their findings in the Oct. 17 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The small LAB genomes encode a diverse repertoire of genes for efficient carbon and nitrogen acquisition and reflect a limited range of biosynthetic capabilities promising broad industrial applications.

Lactic acid-producing bacteria play a key role in the production of fermented foods and beverages, accounting for tens of billions of dollars in sales annually. Products constituting a fine repast, such as wine, salami, cheese, sourdough bread, pickles, yogurt, cocoa, and coffee are all enhanced by LAB, which ferment six-carbon sugars, or hexoses, to produce lactic acid.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Joint Genome Institute

With public concerns at a fevered pitch over the bacterial contamination of spinach, it is easy to lose track of how bland and deprived our world would be without the contribution to our food supply of such benign microbial players as lactic acid-producing bacteria.

Related Articles


Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) and the University of California, Davis, and their colleagues have characterized the genome sequences of nine different lactic acid-producing bacteria, or LAB, and have published their findings in the October 17 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The small LAB genomes encode a diverse repertoire of genes for efficient carbon and nitrogen acquisition from the nutritionally rich environments they inhabit and reflect a limited range of biosynthetic capabilities promising broad industrial applications.

Lactic acid-producing bacteria play a key role in the production of fermented foods and beverages, accounting for tens of billions of dollars in sales annually. Products constituting a fine repast, such as wine, salami, cheese, sourdough bread, pickles, yogurt, cocoa, and coffee are all enhanced by LAB, which ferment six-carbon sugars, or hexoses, to produce lactic acid.

"DOE JGI's contribution to the whole study of lactic acid bacteria is simply immense," said David Mills, Associate Professor, Viticulture & Enology, University of California, Davis, and senior author on the study. "Access to the genome sequences for these fermentative microorganisms will dramatically increase our understanding of their role in industrial food production, leading to more optimized production schemes. For example, a better understanding of the role of lactic acid bacteria in cheese ripening will result in production strategies that reduce ripening time and thereby save energy. Moreover, lactic acid bacteria are used for production of various commercial bioproducts such as dextran and antimicrobials. The availability of these genome sequences will foster development of additional production schemes for biofuels and other important chemicals."

The publication is the culmination of a multiyear effort by the Lactic Acid Bacteria Genome Consortium, a group of at least a dozen academic organizations formed in 2001. Paul Richardson, DOE JGI Genomic Technologies Program head, said that the functional classification embraced a variety of industrially important genera, including Lactococcus, Enterococcus, Oenococcus, Pediococcus, Streptococcus, Leuconostoc, and Lactobacillus species. "The sequence of these diverse species offered a window into the sugar metabolism and energy conversion systems of LAB, and the evolution of these systems, which helped identify key enzymes involved in the production of end products including acetic acid, lactic acid, ethanol, and CO2."

"This work represents a hallmark in the genomic and bioinformatic characterization of lactic acid bacteria that have an impact on food, health, and agriculture," said Willem M. de Vos, Professor of Microbiology and Program Director of the Wageningen Center for Food Sciences in Holland. "In a heroic effort, their publication more than doubles the number of lactic acid bacterial genomes that are publicly available and provides the research community with a wealth of high-quality data that can be used to understand and improve starter cultures for dairy, meat, and wine fermentations; probiotic cultures; and other industrial applications. The extensive bioinformatic analyses by world experts adds to the impact of the genomic data and provides new hypotheses on how microbial genomes evolve by mechanisms of genomic loss and horizontal gene acquisitions."

The DOE Joint Genome Institute, supported by the DOE Office of Science, unites the expertise of five DOE national laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest, along with the Stanford Human Genome Center to advance genomics in support of the DOE missions related to clean energy generation and environmental characterization and clean-up. DOE JGI's Walnut Creek, Calif. Production Genomics Facility provides integrated high-throughput sequencing and computational analysis that enable systems-based scientific approaches to these challenges. Additional information about DOE JGI can be found at: http://www.jgi.doe.gov/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Joint Genome Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/Joint Genome Institute. "Lactic Acid Bacteria: Zesty Microbes Enliven The Palate, Provide Better Blueprint For Biofuels And Specialty Chemical Production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017091752.htm>.
DOE/Joint Genome Institute. (2006, November 4). Lactic Acid Bacteria: Zesty Microbes Enliven The Palate, Provide Better Blueprint For Biofuels And Specialty Chemical Production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017091752.htm
DOE/Joint Genome Institute. "Lactic Acid Bacteria: Zesty Microbes Enliven The Palate, Provide Better Blueprint For Biofuels And Specialty Chemical Production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017091752.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins