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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2013 May;63(Pt 5):1709-16. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.040311-0. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

Characterization of strains of Weissella fabalis sp. nov. and Fructobacillus tropaeoli from spontaneous cocoa bean fermentations.

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Laboratory of Microbiology, Ghent University, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.


Six facultatively anaerobic, non-motile lactic acid bacteria were isolated from spontaneous cocoa bean fermentations carried out in Brazil, Ecuador and Malaysia. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that one of these strains, designated M75(T), isolated from a Brazilian cocoa bean fermentation, had the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity towards Weissella fabaria LMG 24289(T) (97.7%), W. ghanensis LMG 24286(T) (93.3%) and W. beninensis LMG 25373(T) (93.4%). The remaining lactic acid bacteria isolates, represented by strain M622, showed the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity towards the type strain of Fructobacillus tropaeoli (99.9%), a recently described species isolated from a flower in South Africa. pheS gene sequence analysis indicated that the former strain represented a novel species, whereas pheS, rpoA and atpA gene sequence analysis indicated that the remaining five strains belonged to F. tropaeoli; these results were confirmed by DNA-DNA hybridization experiments towards their respective nearest phylogenetic neighbours. Additionally, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry proved successful for the identification of species of the genera Weissella and Fructobacillus and for the recognition of the novel species. We propose to classify strain M75(T) ( = LMG 26217(T)  = CCUG 61472(T)) as the type strain of the novel species Weissella fabalis sp. nov.

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