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Genetic engineering of lactobacilli, leuconostocs and Streptococcus thermophilus

  • A. Mercenier
  • P. H. Pouwels
  • B. M. Chassy

Abstract

The lactic acid bacteria represent a large heterogeneous family of microorganisms that share the property of converting fermentable carbohydrates primarily to lactic acid. The homofermentative lactic acid bacteria convert one mole of glucose to two moles of lactic acid, while the heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria convert one mole of glucose to one mole of lactic acid and a variety of other products such as acetic acid, ethanol and CO2. The family includes very diverse species that naturally occupy quite different ecological niches. Lactic acid bacteria are found on plant surfaces, on external cavities of human and animal bodies, as commensal colonizers of the gastrointestinal systems of vertebrates, as well as in sewage and manure. They are used extensively for the manufacture of a variety of fermented food and feed products. Although they are best known for application in the preparation of fermented dairy products (i.e. cheeses, sour milks, yogurts), lactic acid bacteria are also used in the pickling of vegetables, baking, wine-making, curing of fish, meats and sausages, preparation of silage, remediation of biowastes and the commercial manufacture of lactic acid (Kandler and Weiss, 1986). Due to the global economic importance of the agro-food sector, our knowledge of the lactic acid bacteria has benefited from an intensive research activity over the last decade. For economic, practical and historical reasons attention has been focused primarily on lactococci and the streptococci of medical importance.

Keywords

Lactic Acid Bacterium Lactobacillus Plantarum Lactobacillus Acidophilus Bacteriocin Production Lactobacillus Casei 
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.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Mercenier
  • P. H. Pouwels
  • B. M. Chassy

There are no affiliations available

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