World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 199–208 | Cite as

Characterization of the microbial community in different types of Daqu samples as revealed by 16S rRNA and 26S rRNA gene clone libraries

  • Xiao-Wei Zheng
  • Zheng Yan
  • M. J. Robert Nout
  • Teun Boekhout
  • Bei-Zhong Han
  • Marcel H. Zwietering
  • Eddy J. SmidEmail author
Original Paper


Daqu is a fermentative saccharification agent that is used to initiate fermentation in the production of Chinese liquor and vinegar. Different types of Daqu can be distinguished based on the maximum fermentation temperature, location of production, and raw materials used. We aimed to characterize and distinguish the different types of Daqu using a culture-independent cloning method. The lowest microbial diversity was found in Daqu produced at high-temperature. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to compare the bacterial composition of Daqu from different regions (i.e., northern Daqu and southern Daqu). Staphylococcus gallinarum and Staphylococcus saprophyticus were found in southern Daqu, and were absent in northern Daqu. The fungi Saccharomycopsis fibuligera and Lichtheimia ramosa dominated in low/medium-temperature Daqu, whereas Thermomyces lanuginosus occurred in high-temperature Daqu. Our study identified potential biomarkers for the different types of Daqu, which can be useful for quality control and technology development of liquor or vinegar production.


Starter Bacterial community Fungal community PCA Clone library Biomarker 



This project was supported by the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (No.20130008110013) and grant KNAW-China Joint Research Project 07CDP015 of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao-Wei Zheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zheng Yan
    • 1
    • 4
  • M. J. Robert Nout
    • 2
  • Teun Boekhout
    • 3
  • Bei-Zhong Han
    • 1
  • Marcel H. Zwietering
    • 2
  • Eddy J. Smid
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Food Science and Nutritional EngineeringChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Laboratory of Food MicrobiologyWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.CBS Fungal Biodiversity CentreRoyal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)UtrechtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Chinese Academy of Agricultural EngineeringBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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