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J Basic Microbiol. 2004;44(1):10-6.

Molecular characterization of lactic acid populations associated with wine spoilage.

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Department of Food Science, University of Foggia, via Napoli, 25, 71100 Foggia, Italy.


We have investigated the prevalence of spoilage lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in table wines produced in the Apulia region. The occurrence of LAB was evaluated in wines produced with low sulphur dioxide doses and not supplemented with selected malolactic starters such as Oenococcus oeni. About 150 strains were isolated from wine must and a molecular characterization was performed using PCR-based techniques. Most of the strains analysed belonged to Lactobacillus plantarum species. However, some of the strains were identified as Pediococcus damnosus and Leuconostoc sp. The amplified fragments of Pediococcus damnosus were cloned and sequenced. The coding sequence was highly homologous to that of the ropy plasmid confirming that the isolated strain was a ropy(+) Pediococcus damnosus. In all the samples analysed, the final must pH value reached was relatively high (from 3.78 to 3.90). The high pH values had probably negatively influenced (counteracted) the activity of sulphur dioxide added, allowing proliferation of spoilage wine microorganisms.

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