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Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus (Lb. bulgaricus) is an important species of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) used for cheese and yogurt fermentation. The genome of Lb. bulgaricus 2038, an industrial strain mainly used for yogurt production, was completely sequenced and compared against the other two ATCC collection strains of the same subspecies. Specific physiological properties of strain 2038, such as lysine biosynthesis, formate production, aspartate-related carbon-skeleton intermediate metabolism, unique EPS synthesis and efficient DNA restriction/modification systems, are all different from those of the collection strains that might benefit the industrial production of yogurt. Other common features shared by Lb. bulgaricus strains, such as efficient protocooperation with Streptococcus thermophilus and lactate production as well as well-equipped stress tolerance mechanisms may account for it being selected originally for yogurt fermentation industry. Multiple lines of evidence suggested that Lb. bulgaricus 2038 was genetically closer to the common ancestor of the subspecies than the other two sequenced collection strains, probably due to a strict industrial maintenance process for strain 2038 that might have halted its genome decay and sustained a gene network suitable for large scale yogurt production.


Pei Hao, Huajun Zheng, Yao Yu, Guohui Ding, Wenyi Gu, Shuting Chen, Zhonghao Yu, Shuangxi Ren, Munehiro Oda, Tomonobu Konno, Shengyue Wang, Xuan Li, Zai-Si Ji, Guoping Zhao. Complete sequencing and pan-genomic analysis of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus reveal its genetic basis for industrial yogurt production. PloS one. 2011;6(1):e15964

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PMID: 21264216

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