The changing face of dairy starter culture research: From genomics to economics

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Dairy starter culture research is currently moving through an exciting period which increasingly uses state-of-the-art functional genomics overlaid on traditional microbiology. To date, 25 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) genomes have been sequenced, most of which are genetically pliable using food-grade approaches. An in-depth knowledge of intricate metabolic networks of industrial strains will provide us with a repertoire of genetic markers for ‘knowledge-based’ selection of desirable LAB and expansion of molecular tools for potential strain improvement. This review explores the significance of the genomics era for dairy cultures and discusses future directions which will ultimately change how we interpret starter performance.

Keywords: Dairy starter cultures; Genetic identification; Genomics; Industrial traits

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Teagasc, Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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