Lactic Acid Bacteria Defenses Against Phages

  • Rodolphe Barrangou
  • Philippe Horvath
Part of the Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series (FMFS)


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been widely used in starter cultures, notably in the dairy industry, for the fermentation of milk into yogurt and cheese. Domesticated lactococci, streptococci, and lactobacilli used in food manufacturing applications rely on a plethora of defense systems that allow them to survive bacteriophage (phage) predation. Unfortunately, phage exposure remains an issue throughout the dairy industry, and formulation and rotation strategies leverage natural phage defense mechanisms such as restriction-modification systems, abortive infection, and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR). This chapter highlights the most broadly used phage-resistance systems in LAB, with an emphasis on the novel CRISPR/Cas system, which provides acquired adaptive immunity against phages by targeting viral nucleic acid in a sequence-specific manner.


Lactic Acid Bacterium Starter Culture Cluster Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat Rotation Scheme Phage Resistance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to acknowledge our colleagues and collaborators Patrick Boyaval, Christophe Fremaux, Dennis Romero, Anne-Claire Coûté-Monvoisin, Hélène Deveau, Josiane Garneau, Jessica Labonté, Manuela Villion, and Egon Bech Hansen for their support and many scientific contributions. We would also like to specifically thank Sylvain Moineau, Virgis Siksnys, and Jill Banfield for their insights and expertise on CRISPR.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Danisco USA Inc.MadisonUSA
  2. 2.Danisco France SASDangé-Saint-RomainFrance

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