Current Microbiology

, Volume 75, Issue 10, pp 1306–1315 | Cite as

Species Diversity and Functional Prediction of Surface Bacterial Communities on Aging Flue-Cured Tobaccos

  • Fan Wang
  • Hongwei Zhao
  • Haiying Xiang
  • Lijun Wu
  • Xiao Men
  • Chang Qi
  • Guoqiang Chen
  • Haibo ZhangEmail author
  • Yi WangEmail author
  • Mo XianEmail author


Microbes on aging flue-cured tobaccos (ATFs) improve the aroma and other qualities desirable in products. Understanding the relevant organisms would picture microbial community diversity, metabolic potential, and their applications. However, limited efforts have been made on characterizing the microbial quality and functional profiling. Herein, we present our investigation of the bacterial diversity and predicted potential genetic capability of the bacteria from two AFTs using 16S rRNA gene sequences and phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt) software. The results show that dominant bacteria from AFT surfaces were classified into 48 genera, 36 families, and 7 phyla. In addition, Bacillus spp. was found prevalent on both ATFs. Furthermore, PICRUSt predictions of bacterial community functions revealed many attractive metabolic capacities in the AFT microbiota, including several involved in the biosynthesis of flavors and fragrances and the degradation of harmful compounds, such as nicotine and nitrite. These results provide insights into the importance of AFT bacteria in determining product qualities and indicate specific microbial species with predicted enzymatic capabilities for the production of high-efficiency flavors, the degradation of undesirable compounds, and the provision of nicotine and nitrite tolerance which suggest fruitful areas of investigation into the manipulation of AFT microbiota for AFT and other product improvements.


16S rRNA gene sequencing Microbial community diversity Aging flue-cured tobaccos PICRUSt Functional profiling 



This study was supported by Hainan’s Key Project of Research and Development Plan (No. ZDYF2017155), Taishan Scholars Climbing Program of Shandong (No. TSPD20150210), and Youth Innovation Promotion Association CAS No. 2017252.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

284_2018_1525_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 19 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Biobased Materials, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess TechnologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Yunnan Academy of Tobacco SciencesKunmingChina

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