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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Dec;73(23):7697-702. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

DNA fingerprinting of lactic acid bacteria in sauerkraut fermentations.

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  • 1USDA-ARS, Department of Food Science, 322 Schaub Hall, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7624, USA.


Previous studies using traditional biochemical identification methods to study the ecology of commercial sauerkraut fermentations revealed that four species of lactic acid bacteria, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactobacillus plantarum, Pediococcus pentosaceus, and Lactobacillus brevis, were the primary microorganisms in these fermentations. In this study, 686 isolates were collected from four commercial fermentations and analyzed by DNA fingerprinting. The results indicate that the species of lactic acid bacteria present in sauerkraut fermentations are more diverse than previously reported and include Leuconostoc citreum, Leuconostoc argentinum, Lactobacillus paraplantarum, Lactobacillus coryniformis, and Weissella sp. The newly identified species Leuconostoc fallax was also found. Unexpectedly, only two isolates of P. pentosaceus and 15 isolates of L. brevis were recovered during this study. A better understanding of the microbiota may aid in the development of low-salt fermentations, which may have altered microflora and altered sensory characteristics.

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