Author(s): Van der Meulen R, GrosuTudor S, Mozzi F, Vaningelgem F, Zamfir M,
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Abstract A total of 174 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains isolated from dairy and cereal products were screened for the production of exopolysaccharides (EPS). Therefore, a rapid screening method was developed based on ultrafiltration and gel permeation chromatography. Furthermore, a screening through the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed with primer pairs targeting different genes involved in EPS production. Nine isolates produced a homopolysaccharide of the glucan type, whereas only one strain produced a heteropolysaccharide. The production of a glucan by a strain of Lactococcus lactis and the production of a heteropolysaccharide by a strain of Lactobacillus curvatus are reported for the first time. The PCR screening revealed many positive strains. For three of the ten EPS-producing strains, no corresponding genes could be detected. Furthermore, a lot of strains possessed one or more eps genes but did not produce an EPS. Therefore, a screening on the molecular level should always be accompanied by another screening method that is able to distinguish true EPS producer strains from non-producing ones. Statistical analysis did not reveal any relationship between the type and origin of the strains, the presence or absence of a capsular polysaccharide or EPS, and the presence or absence of eps genes.
This article was published in Int J Food Microbiol
and referenced in Applied Microbiology: Open Access