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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 1990 Sep;7(1-2):61-77.

Molecular genetics of Streptococcus thermophilus.

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Transgene S.A., Strasbourg, France.


The metabolism and genetics of Streptococcus thermophilus (presently Streptococcus salivarius ssp. thermophilus) have only been investigated recently despite its widespread use in milk fermentation processes. The development of recombinant DNA technology has allowed impressive progress to be made in the knowledge of thermophilic dairy streptococci. In particular, it has permitted a careful analysis of phenotypically altered variants which were derived from a mother strain by plasmid or chromosomal DNA reorganization. While natural phage defense mechanisms of S. thermophilus remain poorly documented, information on the bacteriophages responsible for fermentation failures has accumulated. The lysogenic state of two S. thermophilus strains has also been demonstrated for the first time. Gene transfer techniques for this species have been established and improved to the point that targeted manipulation of their chromosomal determinants is now feasible. Cloning and expression vectors have been constructed, and a few heterologous genes were successfully expressed in S. thermophilus. The first homologous genes, involved in carbohydrate utilization, have been cloned and sequenced, shedding some light on the molecular organization of key metabolic steps.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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