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Vol. 76, No. 16, 2010; Pages: 5402–5408

Community Dynamics of Bacteria in Sourdough Fermentations as
Revealed by Their Metatranscriptome

Stefan Weckx,1 Roel Van der Meulen,1 Joke Allemeersch,2 Geert Huys,3 Peter Vandamme,3 Paul Van Hummelen,2 and Luc De Vuyst1*

Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO), Faculty of Sciences and Bio-engineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.


The lactic acid bacterial (LAB) community dynamics of two wheat and two spelt sourdough fermentations that were daily back-slopped were monitored during a period of 10 days by hybridizing time-related RNA samples, representing the metatranscriptome, to an LAB functional gene microarray. To indicate the species present in each hybridized sample, annotation information for the 2,269 oligonucleotides on the microarray was used. The overall hybridization data revealed that after a transition phase of 5 days, in which atypical sourdough LAB species, including Enterococcus species, were found, a stabilized ecosystem was established with Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus fermentum as the dominating LAB species. Compared with the combined outcome of culture-dependent and culture-independent identification techniques, the microarray data revealed a functional role for Lactococcus lactis in the early stage ecosystem and the dominance of Pediococcus pentosaceus in most of the fermentations, besides L. plantarum and L. fermentum. Consequently, metatranscriptome hybridization data obtained using an LAB functional gene microarray was shown to be an interesting alternative to microbiological analysis of the community dynamics of complex food ecosystems.

Keywords:Lactobacillus plantarum; Lactobacillus fermentum; Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis; Lactobacillus paralimentarius; Lactobacillus brevis,physiology.

Corresponding author: Tel 32 2 6293245, Fax 32 2 6292720.

E-mail: ldvuyst@vub.ac.be


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