Editor: Ian Henderson
The genus Lactobacillus– a genomic basis for understanding its diversity
Article first published online: 9 JAN 2007
FEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume 269, Issue 1, pages 22–28, April 2007
How to Cite
Claesson, M. J., Van Sinderen, D. and O'Toole, P. W. (2007), The genus Lactobacillus– a genomic basis for understanding its diversity. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 269: 22–28. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2006.00596.x
- Issue published online: 15 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 9 JAN 2007
- Received 25 September 2006; revised 23 November 2006; accepted 30 November 2006.First published online 9 January 2007.
- genome sequencing;
- phylogenetic diversity
The genus Lactobacillus is a diverse group that includes many species used in food production and preservation. Some lactobacilli are considered probiotic, conferring health benefits upon the host. The heterogeneity of this genus poses challenges and opportunities when characterizing or exploiting individual strains. To date, 10 Lactobacillus genome sequences have been published, and at least 11 more sequencing projects are ongoing. These studies will dramatically improve one's understanding of metabolic processes, bioprocessing capabilities and potential roles in health and well-being of the Lactobacilli. This review describes the current status of Lactobacillus genome sequence projects, highlights the major findings and summarizes functional genomics or comparative genomics studies. The genomic basis for the unusual diversity of this genus is discussed, and the potential for comparative genomics to rigorously extend phylogenetic analysis of the Lactobacilli is described.