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Int J Food Microbiol. 2005 Dec 15;105(3):463-70. Epub 2005 Aug 2.

A new approach for selection of Oenococcus oeni strains in order to produce malolactic starters.

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1
Laboratoire de Microbiologie, UMR Université de Bourgogne/INRA 1232, ENSBANA, 1, Esplanade Erasme, 21 000 Dijon, France.

Abstract

The lactic acid bacterium Oenococcus oeni, mainly responsible for malolactic fermentation (MLF), is used in new winery process as starter culture for direct inoculation. The difficulty to master MLF according to the wine led us to search a new approach to select effective O. oeni strains. Biochemical and molecular tests were performed in order to characterize three strains of O. oeni selected for malolactic starter elaboration. Malolactic and ATPase activities that appeared as a great interest in MLF were measured and the expression of a small heat shock protein Lo18 was evaluated by immunoblotting and real-time PCR. These results were correlated with the performances of strains in two red wines. Physiological and molecular characteristics of the three strains showed significant differences for the global malolactic activity on intact cell at pH 3.0 and at the level of induction of the small heat shock protein Lo18. These two parameters appeared of interest to evaluate in the ability of O. oeni strains to survive into wine after direct inoculation and to perform MLF. Indeed, a tested strain that presented the highest malolactic activity on intact cells at pH 3.0 and a high level of Lo18 induction showed a high growth rate and a high specific kinetic of malate consumption. The techniques used in this work carry out more quickly and more reliable than usual for the selection of effective strains intended for direct inoculation in wines.

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