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Bacterial and fungal diversity in the starter production process of Fen liquor, a traditional Chinese liquor

  • Microbial Ecology and Environmental Microbiology
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Fermented foods and beverages are important parts of human diet. Fen liquor, a Chinese liquor is a fermented beverage that uses a traditional fermentation process. Starters are the main microbial source and also provide nutrients for microorganisms during fermentation. In this study, starters of Fen liquor were produced through a complex traditional fermentation process. To investigate the community structure and the composition of microorganisms in the starter production process, bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions were sequenced using clone libraries and pyrosequencing, respectively. There was much higher diversity among the bacteria than among the fungi in the starter production process. Bacteria on the surface of the starters belonged mostly to the Lactobacillaceae family, while members of the Bacillacae family were dominant in the interior of the samples that lacked access to air and water. In the fungi population, diversity was high only in the raw material. In all other samples, nearly all of the fungal sequences were from Pichia kudriavzevii, a member of the Saccharomycetaceae family. Nearly all samples showed similar fungal community structures, indicating that there was little change in the fungal community. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to reveal the whole process of the starter production of Chinese traditional liquor. The findings obtained in this study provide new insights into understanding the composition of the microbial community during the traditional Chinese liquor starter production process and information about the production process control and monitoring.

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Correspondence to Zhe-Xue Quan.

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Li, XR., Ma, EB., Yan, LZ. et al. Bacterial and fungal diversity in the starter production process of Fen liquor, a traditional Chinese liquor. J Microbiol. 51, 430–438 (2013).

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