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Food Sci Biotechnol. 2016 Apr 30;25(2):541-545. doi: 10.1007/s10068-016-0075-x. eCollection 2016.

Heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria dominate in Korean commercial kimchi.

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1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Pusan National University, Busan, 46241 Korea.
2Kimchi Research Institute, Pusan National University, Busan, 46241 Korea.
Bureau of Documentary Production, Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), Seoul, 07235 Korea.
4ChunLab Inc., Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826 Korea.


Lactic acid bacterial communities in kimchi prepared by representative Korean kimchi companies were investigated using a pyrosequencing method. The pH values of 9 kimchi varieties (K1-K9) ranged from 4.3 to 4.7, and total lactic acid bacterial (LAB) counts ranged from 1.3x107 to 1.6x109 CFU/g. Weissella, Lactobacillus, and Leuconostoc were the dominant genera accounting for 52, 28, and 20%, respectively, of identified genera. At the species level, Weissella koreensis (35%) dominated, followed by Lactobacillus graminis (13%), and Weissella cibaria (11%). Dominant LAB were all heterofermentative LAB. K1 had the most diverse operational taxonomic units (OTUs), and clustering analysis showed that distributions of microorganisms in K2, K6, K5, and K4 were similar each other. LAB communities in kimchi are diverse and heterofermentative LAB dominate in Korean commercial kimchi.


heterofermentative; kimchi; lactic acid bacteria; pyrosequencing

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