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Characterization and stability of lactobacilli and yeast microbiota in kefir grains

, : Characterization and stability of lactobacilli and yeast microbiota in kefir grains. Journal of Dairy Science 96(5): 2729-2736

Characterization and stability of lactobacilli and yeasts from kefir grains using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods were investigated in this study. Culture-dependent analysis, followed by sequencing of 16S ribosomal DNA for bacteria and 26S rRNA gene for yeasts, revealed 3 different species of lactobacilli and yeasts, respectively. The most frequently isolated bacterial species were Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens ssp. kefirgranum, Lb. parakefiri, and Lb. kefiri, whereas yeasts belonged to Kluyveromyces marxianus, Kazachstania exigua, and Rhodosporidium kratochvilovae. This study is the first to report on the presence of R. kratochvilovae in kefir grains. On the other hand, PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis in the culture-independent method showed that the dominant microorganisms were Lb. kefiranofaciens ssp. kefirgranum, Kl. marxianus and Ka. exigua, but did not reveal bands corresponding to Lb. parakefiri, Lb. kefiri, or R. kratochvilovae. Our results support the necessity of combining more techniques for detailed and reliable study of microbial communities in kefir grains. Another interesting finding confirmed that the detected dominant microbiota of kefir grains is very stable and did not change over experimental time. This finding is important to ensure consistent product quality.


PMID: 23497996

DOI: 10.3168/jds.2012-5829

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