Characterisation of the microbiota of traditional fermented beverages and screening these and other populations for novel antimicrobial producers and gene clusters
Marsh, Alan J.
University College Cork
To screen for novel ribosomally synthesised antimicrobials, in-silico genome mining was performed on all publically available fully sequenced bacterial genomes. 49 novel type 1 lantibiotic clusters were identified from a number of species, genera and phyla not usually associated with lantibiotic production, and indicates high prevalence. A crucial step towards the commercialisation of fermented beverages is the characterisation of the microbial content. To achieve this goal, we applied next-generation sequencing techniques to analyse the bacterial and yeast populations of the organic, symbiotically-fermented beverages kefir, water kefir and kombucha. A number of minor components were revealed, many of which had not previously been associated with these beverages. The dominant microorganism in each of the water kefir grains and fermentates was Zymomonas, an ethanol-producing bacterium that had not previously been detected on such a scale. These studies represent the most accurate description of these populations to date, and should aid in future starter design and in determining which species are responsible for specific attributes of the beverages. Finally, high-throughput robotics was applied to screen for the presence of antimicrobial producers associated with these beverages. This revealed a low frequency of bacteriocin production amongst the bacterial isolates, with only lactococcins A, B and LcnN of lactococcin M being identified. However, a proteinaceous antimicrobial produced by the yeast Dekkera bruxellensis, isolated from kombucha, was found to be active against Lactobacillus bulgaricus. This peptide was patially purified.
Kombucha , Kefir , Water kefir , Bacteriocin , High-throughput screening
Marsh, A. J. 2013. Characterisation of the microbiota of traditional fermented beverages and screening these and other populations for novel antimicrobial producers and gene clusters. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.