Reference Work Entry

The Prokaryotes

pp 320-403

The Genera Lactobacillus and Carnobacterium

  • Walter P. Hammes
  • , Christian Hertel

Lactobacilli are Gram-positive, nonsporeforming rods, catalase-negative when growing without a heme source (e.g., blood), usually nonmotile, and occasionally nitrate reducers. They utilize glucose fermentatively (Kandler and Weiss, 1986a) and may be either homofermentative, producing more than 85% lactic acid from glucose, or heterofermentative, producing lactic acid, CO2, ethanol, and/or acetic acid in equimolar amounts. The type species is Lactobacillus delbrueckii Leichmann 1896 (Beijerinck, 1901). The genus Lactobacillus constitutes together with the genus Pediococcus the family Lactobacillaceae and presently comprises 80 recognized species and 15 subspecies. The phylogenetic position of this family in relation to lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and closely related genera is depicted in Fig. 1. The increased interest in microbial ecology and the availability of sensitive taxonomic methods delivering unambiguous identification results have created a marked increase in the number of speci ...

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