• Weissella cibaria ;
  • Weissella confusa ;
  • xylanase;
  • xylosidase;
  • xylooligosaccharides;
  • prebiotic;
  • short chain fatty acids


Six strains isolated from fermented food were identified as Weissella species by 16S rDNA sequencing, clustering with the species pair W. confusa/W. cibaria. The strains were analysed for growth on glucose, xylose and xylooligosaccharides (XOS). All strains were xylose positive using the API CHL 50 test. Growth on XOS was observed for strains 85, 92, 145 and AV1, firstly by optical density measurements in microtitre plates and secondly in batch cultures also confirming concomitant decrease in pH. Analysis of XOS before and after growth established consumption in the DP2–DP5 range in the four XOS-fermenting strains. XOS were consumed simultaneously with glucose, while xylose was consumed after glucose depletion. Cell-associated β-xylosidase activity was detected in the XOS-fermenting strains. Analysis of genomic data suggests this activity to be linked with genes encoding glycoside hydrolases from family 3, 8 or 43. No endo-β-xylanase activity was detectable. Major end products were lactate and acetate. A higher ratio of acetic acid to lactic acid was obtained during growth on XOS compared with growth on glucose. This is the first report on utilization of XOS in Weissella, indicating an increased probiotic potential for XOS-utilizing strains from the species pair W. confusa/W. cibaria, but also showing that XOS utilization is strain dependent for these species.