The ability to utilize lactose is requisite for lactic acid bacteria used as starters in the dairy industry. Modern genetic recombination techniques have facilitated the introduction of the lactose-positive phenotype into bacteria such as Pediococcus species, which traditionally have not been used as dairy starters. This study investigated lactose and galactose uptake along with phospho-β-galactosidase activity in pediococci that had been transformed with a Latococcus lactis lactose plasmid. Lactose- positive transformants, Pediococcus acidilactici SAL and Pediococcus pentosaceus SPL-2, demonstrated an ability to accumulate [14C]lactose at a rate greater than the Lactococcus lactis control. Phospho-β-galactosidase activity was also higher in transformants versus Lactococcus lactis. Studies of [3H]galactose uptake suggested that a wild-type galactose transport system and the introduced lactose phosphotransferase system both functioned in galactose uptake by Pediococcus spp. transformants. Significantly lower levels of free galactose were detected in milk fermented with Lactobacillus helveticus LH100 and SAL or SPL-2 than in milk fermented with a LH100 plus Streptococcus thermophilus TA061 control starter blend.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology