The Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 340–348 | Cite as

Analyses of bacterial communities in meju, a Korean traditional fermented soybean bricks, by cultivation-based and pyrosequencing methods

  • Yi-Seul Kim
  • Min-Cheol Kim
  • Soon-Wo Kwon
  • Soo-Jin Kim
  • In-Cheol Park
  • Jong-Ok Ka
  • Hang-Yeon Weon


Despite the importance of meju as a raw material used to make Korean soy sauce (ganjang) and soybean paste (doenjang), little is known about the bacterial diversity of Korean meju. In this study, the bacterial communities in meju were examined using both culture-dependent and independent methods in order to evaluate the diversity of the bacterial population. Analyses of the 16S rRNA gene sequences of the bacterial strains isolated from meju samples showed that the dominant species were related to members of the genera Bacillus, Enterococcus, and Pediococcus. The community DNAs extracted from nine different meju samples were analyzed by barcoded pyrosequencing method targeting of the V1 to V3 hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene. In total, 132,374 sequences, with an average read length of 468 bp, were assigned to several phyla, with Firmicutes (93.6%) representing the predominant phylum, followed by Proteobacteria (4.5%) and Bacteroidetes (0.8%). Other phyla accounted for less than 1% of the total bacterial sequences. Most of the Firmicutes were Bacillus and lactic acid bacteria, mainly represented by members of the genera Enterococcus, Lactococcus, and Leuconostoc, whose ratio varied among different samples. In conclusion, this study indicated that the bacterial communities in meju were very diverse and a complex microbial consortium containing various microorganisms got involved in meju fermentation than we expected before.


bacterial communities cultivation-based fermented soybean bricks meju pyrosequencing 


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi-Seul Kim
    • 1
  • Min-Cheol Kim
    • 2
  • Soon-Wo Kwon
    • 1
  • Soo-Jin Kim
    • 1
  • In-Cheol Park
    • 1
  • Jong-Ok Ka
    • 3
  • Hang-Yeon Weon
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Microbiology Team, National Academy of Agricultural ScienceRural Development AdministrationSuwonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.School of Agricultural BiotechnologySeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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