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Int J Food Microbiol. 2012 Feb 1;153(1-2):114-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.10.024. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

Exploration of phenomena contributing to the diversity of Oenococcus oeni exopolysaccharides.

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Université de Bordeaux, IPB, ISVV, EA 4602, Unité de recherche OENOLOGIE, INRA USC 1219, 210 chemin de leysotte, 33882 Villenave d'Ornon cedex, France.


Many food-grade bacteria produce exopolysaccharides (EPS) that may modify the food texture or affect their survival rate during food processing. This is the case of O. oeni, a bacterial species who drives malolactic fermentation in wine. The five strains analyzed in the present study all display both isolated genes dedicated to homopolysaccharide synthesis and gene clusters potentially associated with heteropolysaccharide synthesis. The number of isolated glycosyltransferase gene present and the gene composition of one of the operons change from one strain to the other. The soluble EPS yields and the EPS monomer composition vary depending on the strain and or the medium composition. O. oeni appears as a bacterium able to synthesize both homo and heteropolysaccharides. This unique property has rarely been described. Moreover, the abundance of the genetic determinants associated with EPS metabolism suggests that it is very important for the adaptation of the bacteria to wine.

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