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Keywords:

  • Streptococcus thermophilus ;
  • Plant isolates;
  • 16S rDNA sequencing;
  • Physiological and biochemical properties

Streptococcus thermophilus strains have been isolated mainly from dairy environments. To prospect for new strains of S. thermophilus, isolation was made from different plant sources. In this study, 74 plant isolates were characterised as S. thermophilus by a polyphasic approach and by 16S rRNA sequencing. The isolates were further evaluated for their physiological and biochemical properties. Plant isolates exhibited good acid production and varying proteolytic activity. All the isolates showed acetaldehyde and capsular exopolysaccharide (EPS) production and few revealed diacetyl production. In contrast to industrial strains, six isolates were able to ferment galactose and 25 were found to have no urease activity. Both the plant isolates and reference dairy cultures were found to possess similar physiological and biochemical properties and can be considered for developing new starters.