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Starch-modifying enzymes of lactic acid bacteria – structures, properties, and applications


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In spite that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are used for production of fermented foods and drinks for millennia, their ability to grow using starch as a sole carbon source was noticed by the scientists in the last 30 years. A number of amylolytic LAB (ALAB) strains were isolated and several detailed investigations of biochemical and genetic basis of starch hydrolysis were performed. The purpose of this review is to summarize for the first time the available data about the starch-modifying enzymes in ALAB. The most important amylolytic representatives of the genera Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Streptococcus, Pediococcus, Carnobacterium, and Weissella are described. Amino acid sequences, corresponding to ALAB amylase enzymes are compared and some features of the gene expression are analyzed. The possible application of ALAB strains for direct production of lactic acid from starch, as well as their participation in food manufacturing is discussed.