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Microb Genom. 2019 Aug 1. doi: 10.1099/mgen.0.000286. [Epub ahead of print]

Comparative genome analysis of Lactobacillus mudanjiangensis, an understudied member of the Lactobacillus plantarum group.

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2Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO), Faculty of Sciences and Bioengineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
1Research Group Environmental Ecology and Applied Microbiology (ENdEMIC), Department of Bioscience Engineering, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
3Laboratory of Cell Biology and Histology, Antwerp Centre for Advanced Microscopy (ACAM), University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
4Laboratory for Process Microbial Ecology and Bioinspirational Management (PME&BIM), Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M2S), KU Leuven, Campus De Nayer, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium.


The genus Lactobacillus is known to be extremely diverse and consists of different phylogenetic groups that show a diversity that is roughly equal to the expected diversity of a typical bacterial genus. One of the most prominent phylogenetic groups within this genus is the Lactobacillus plantarum group, which contains the understudied Lactobacillus mudanjiangensis species. Before this study, only one L. mudanjiangensis strain, DSM 28402T, had been described, but without whole-genome analysis. In this study, three strains classified as L. mudanjiangensis were isolated from three different carrot juice fermentations and their whole-genome sequence was determined, together with the genome sequence of the type strain. The genomes of all four strains were compared with publicly available L. plantarum group genome sequences. This analysis showed that L. mudanjiangensis harboured the second largest genome size and gene count of the whole L. plantarum group. In addition, all members of this species showed the presence of a gene coding for a cellulose-degrading enzyme. Finally, three of the four L. mudanjiangensis strains studied showed the presence of pili on scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images, which were linked to conjugative gene regions, coded on a plasmid in at least two of the strains studied.

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