Identification and characterization of Lactobacillus florum strains isolated from South African grape and wine samples
A total of 213 strains of lactic acid bacteria were examined in this study. Among these, 30 strains previously isolated from South African grape and wine samples remained unidentified. The identification of these isolates was performed by BLAST and phylogenetic analyses of 16S rDNA gene sequences, which indicated that the isolates belonged to Lactobacillus florum. In this work, we also designed a discriminative species-specific primer FLOR targeting the 16S rDNA gene of Lb. florum. The validity and specificity of this primer was confirmed. Of particular interest in this study was to further evaluate the identified strains for the presence of genes encoding enzymes of oenological relevance. Reference strains included three flower-associated Lb. florum (F9-1 T, F9-2 and F17) and two Lactobacillus lindneri (AWRI B530 and DSM 20691) strains. Lb. lindneri strains were incorporated as being the closest relatives of Lb. florum. PCR detection results revealed that all Lb. florum strains and Lb. lindneri AWRI B530 (grape isolate) possessed the majority of the tested genes relative to DSM 20691 (beer isolate); these enzyme-encoding genes included malolactic enzyme, peptidases (PepC, PepI, PepN), citrate lyase (α- and β-subunits), phenolic acid decarboxylase and arginine deiminase pathway enzymes (arginine deiminase and ornithine transcarbamylase). Sequence verification of PCR-generated fragments was performed by sequencing. The sequence data were used to construct the phylogenetic trees, which indicated that our Lb. florum isolates cluster with other Lb. florum strains of flower origin but rather distinct from other LAB species, with Lb. lindneri being the next closest species. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.