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Res Microbiol. 1996 Oct;147(8):651-60.

Species attribution and strain typing of Oenococcus oeni (formerly Leuconostoc oenos) with restriction endonuclease fingerprints.

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Centro di Studio dei Microrganismi Autotrofi, CNR, Firenze Italy.


In several wines, malolactic fermentation is required to improve the organoleptic characters and to stabilize the final product. In order to establish a controlled malolactic fermentation in wine, easy identification and sensitive typing of strains of Oenococcus oeni (new name of the malolactic bacterium Leuconostoc oenos) used as starter cultures are necessary. To accomplish these tasks, several strains of Oenococcus oeni isolated from wines of the Chianti region (Italy), along with reference strains and strains of L. mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides, L. carnosum, L. fallax, L. pseudomesenteroides, L. lactis and Weisella paramesenteroides, were studied with RFLP of ribosomal genes and ultrasensitive total DNA restriction pattern analysis performed on polyacrylamide gel. With each of four restriction endonucleases used, identical restriction profiles of ribosomal genes were obtained for all strains of O. oeni. These ribopatterns, being strongly dissimilar to profiles of the other lactic acid bacteria tested, appear to be well suited for the attribution of wine lactic acid bacteria to the species O. oeni. Cluster analysis performed on two total DNA restriction profile data sets showed that the species O. oeni possesses a good degree of genomic homogeneity. Very sensitive typing of strains of O. oeni was obtained with total DNA restriction profiles. The potential of an integrated approach using restriction profiles for species assignment and typing of selected malolactic bacteria is demonstrated.

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