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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2004 Apr;15(2):105-15.

Genome data mining of lactic acid bacteria: the impact of bioinformatics.

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Wageningen Center for Food Sciences, PO Box 557, 6700AN, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been widely used in food fermentations and, more recently, as probiotics in health-promoting food products. Genome sequencing and functional genomics studies of a variety of LAB are now rapidly providing insights into their diversity and evolution and revealing the molecular basis for important traits such as flavor formation, sugar metabolism, stress response, adaptation and interactions. Bioinformatics plays a key role in handling, integrating and analyzing the flood of 'omics' data being generated. Reconstruction of metabolic potential using bioinformatics tools and databases, followed by targeted experimental verification and exploration of the metabolic and regulatory network properties, are the present challenges that should lead to improved exploitation of these versatile food bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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