Mon01182021

Last updateWed, 13 Jan 2021 10am

Back You are here: Inicio Agro-food technologies Success stories The genome of a bacteria used in food fermentation has been obtained

The genome of a bacteria used in food fermentation has been obtained

A group of scientists led by José Luis Ruiz Barba and Antonio Maldonado at the CSIC has obtained the genome of Lactobacillus pentosus, a bacteria used in food fermentation such as the called “Spanish style” olives. The specific genome sequenced comes from the L.pentosus IG1 strain. The results, published in the magazine Journal of Bacteriology will allow the unveiling of biotechnological and probiotic characteristics of the bacteria.

Fermentation process of olives.A group of scientists led by José Luis Ruiz Barba and Antonio Maldonado at the CSIC has obtained the genome of Lactobacillus pentosus, a bacteria used in food fermentation such as the called Spanish style olives. The specific genome sequenced comes from the L.pentosus IG1 strain.

The results, published in the magazine Journal of Bacteriology will allow the unveiling of biotechnological and probiotic characteristics of the bacteria.

As the CSIC scientist Antonio Maldonado explains, ‘the fermentation process of Spanish style olives is an open process. What this means is that the product is exposed to environmental conditions and micro-organisms because it’s not possible to sterilize the olives. Neither can a totally clean environment be ensured’.

It is possible to avoid problems related to this open process and induce the correct fermentation using ‘starters’, a selected group of lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus pentosus. But ¿what are the best strains to be included in these starters?

There are many strains of these bacteria. Taken a sample from the brine where the olives are during the fermentation process, it could be possible to find around a hundred strains.

To know the genome of each one, to identify its genes, enables us to predict its functionality and to differentiate which ones are better for each process, as well as to find new applications. That was the goal of scientists at CSIC’s Instituto de la Grasa when sequencing L. pentosus IG1.

Work results shown that this strain has the biggest chromosome within this Lactobacillus group and has the ability to easily adapt to changing environmental conditions. Also, scientists have seen genes that favour its adhesion, and that make it stronger when competing against other bacteria or when there are conditions of stress.

Maldonado explains that IG1 strain is characterized by its high production of antibiotic-like compounds, such as bactericines, which are active against pathogenic bacteria. These and other characteristics make this strain a good candidate for being part of probiotic formula, because they improve the immunity in the intestinal mucosa and the resistance against bacteria and virus’.

Scientists are working now to find out the genomes of more bacterial strains from L.pentosus.

Antonio Maldonado Barragán, Belén Caballero Guerrero, Helena Lucena Padrós, José Luis Ruiz‐Barba. Genome Sequence of Lactobacillus pentosus IG1, a Strain Isolated from Spanish‐Style Green Olive Fermentations.  Journal of Bacteriology.  DOI: 10.1128/JB.05736‐11