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Part of the book series: The Lactic Acid Bacteria ((LAAB,volume 2))

Abstract

Lactobacilli are Gram-positive, non-spore-forming, rods or coccobacilli with a G+C content of DNA usually below 50 mol%. They are strictly fermentative, aero-tolerant or anaerobic, aciduric or acidophilic and have complex nutritional requirements (e.g. for carbohydrates, amino acids, peptides, fatty acid esters, salts, nucleic acid derivatives, and vitamins). They do not synthesize porphyrinoids and thus, are devoid of heme-dependent activities. Strains of some species can use porphorinoids from the environment and exhibit activities of catalase, nitrite reduction or even cytochromes (Meisel, 1991). Pseudo-catalase is formed in strains of Lb. mali. With glucose as a carbon source lactobacilli may be either homofermentative, producing more than 85% lactic acid, or hetero-fermentative, producing lactic acid, CO2, ethanol (and/or acetic acid) in equimolar amounts. In the presence of oxygen or other oxidants increased amounts of acetate may be produced at the expense of lactate or ethanol, whereby one additional mole of ATP is gained via the acetate kinase reaction. Thus, variations in the metabolic end products may occur. Various compounds (e.g. citrate, malate, tartrate, quinolate, nitrate, nitrite, etc.) may be metabolized, and used as energy source (e.g. via building up a proton motive force) or electron acceptors.

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Hammes, W.P., Vogel, R.F. (1995). The genus Lactobacillus . In: Wood, B.J.B., Holzapfel, W.H. (eds) The Genera of Lactic Acid Bacteria. The Lactic Acid Bacteria, vol 2. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-5817-0_3

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