Characterization of Acetic Acid Bacteria in Traditional Acetic Acid Fermentation of Rice Vinegar (Komesu) and Unpolished Rice Vinegar (Kurosu) Produced in Japan


American Society for Microbiology


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.

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