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Characterization of acetic acid bacteria in traditional acetic acid fermentation of rice vinegar (Komesu) and unpolished rice vinegar (Kurosu) produced in Japan

Nanda, K., Taniguchi, M., Ujike, S., Ishihara, N., Mori, H., Ono, H., Murooka, Y.
Applied and environmental microbiology 2001 v.67 no.2 pp. 986-990
Acetobacter pasteurianus, random amplified polymorphic DNA technique, rice, fermentation, ribosomal DNA, intergenic DNA, DNA fingerprinting, repetitive sequences, Japan
Bacterial strains were isolated from samples of Japanese rice vinegar (komesu) and unpolished rice vinegar (kurosu) fermented by the traditional static method. Fermentations have never been inoculated with a pure culture since they were started in 1907. A total of 178 isolates were divided into groups A and B on the basis of enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-PCR and random amplified polymorphic DNA fingerprinting analyses. The 16S ribosomal DNA sequences of strains belonging to each group showed similarities of more than 99% with Acetobacter pasteurianus. Group A strains overwhelmingly dominated all stages of fermentation of both types of vinegar. Our results indicate that appropriate strains of acetic acid bacteria have spontaneously established almost pure cultures during nearly a century of komesu and kurosu fermentation.