Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/28/2009
Publication Date: 8/28/2009
Citation: Rich, J.O., Liu, S., Leathers, T.D., Bischoff, K.M. 2009. Lactic acid bacteria - Friend or Foe? Lactic acid bacteria in the production of polysaccharides and fuel ethanol [abstract]. Conference on Lactic Acid Bacteria in Thai Food and Feed Industries. Paper L01. p. 69.
Technical Abstract: Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been widely used in the production of fermented foods and as probiotics. Alternan is a glucan with a distinctive backbone structure of alternating alpha-(1,6) and alpha-(1,3) linkages produced by the LAB Leuconostoc mesenteroides. In recent years, improved strains for production of alternan and novel derivatives, including a lower molecular weight form that more closely mimics gum Arabic, have been developed at NCAUR. Alternan oligosaccharides were produced using enzyme-catalyzed acceptor reactions and have potential as second generation prebiotics. This Alternan technology led to the development of Sucromalt™ (Cargill), a low-glycemic index sweetener that appears in the Glucerna line of diabetic foods. In addition, LAB could be used as microbial catalysts for production of fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass. LAB are well suited for ethanol production due to their ability to utilize a range of mixed substrates and their high tolerance to environmental ethanol concentrations. These same characteristics also make LAB prolific contaminants of fuel ethanol fermentations, creating a costly problem for the ethanol industry. We have isolated bacterial contaminants from a variety of US fuel ethanol production facilities and determined their antibiotic susceptibility. These strains were used to develop a reliable "stuck" fermentation model that will be useful in developing effective intervention strategies to control bacterial contamination in commercial fermentation cultures. At the same time, we are also engineering the metabolism of various strains of LAB to produce liquid fuels from lignocellulosic feedstocks. Specific examples of utilizing and controlling LAB will be presented.