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J Appl Microbiol. 2001 Jul;91(1):131-8.

An analysis of bacteriocins produced by lactic acid bacteria isolated from malted barley.

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Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Ireland.



The aim of this study was to perform a detailed characterization of bacteriocins produced by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from malted barley.


Bacteriocin activities produced by eight LAB, isolated from various types of malted barley, were purified to homogeneity by ammonium sulphate precipitation, cation exchange, hydrophobic interaction and reverse-phase liquid chromatography. Molecular mass analysis and N-terminal amino acid sequencing of the purified bacteriocins showed that four non-identical Lactobacillus sakei strains produced sakacin P, while four Leuconostoc mesenteroides strains were shown to produce bacteriocins highly similar or identical to leucocin A, leucocin C or mesenterocin Y105. Two of these bacteriocin-producing strains, Lb. sakei 5 and Leuc. mesenteroides 6, were shown to produce more than one bacteriocin. Lactobacillus sakei 5 produced sakacin P as well as two novel bacteriocins, which were termed sakacin 5X and sakacin 5T. The inhibitory spectrum of each purified bacteriocin was analysed and demonstrated that sakacin 5X was capable of inhibiting the widest range of beer spoilage organisms.


All bacteriocins purified in this study were class II bacteriocins. Two of the bacteriocins have not been described previously in the literature while the remaining purified bacteriocins have been isolated from environments other than malted barley.


This study represents a thorough analysis of bacteriocin-producing LAB from malt and demonstrates, for the first time, the variety of previously identified and novel inhibitory peptides produced by isolates from this environment. It also highlights the potential of these LAB cultures to be used as biological controlling agents in the brewing industry.

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