Food Science and Biotechnology
→ Food Science and Biotechnology 2021 ; 30(7): 949-957
Kimchi bacteriophages of lactic acid bacteria: population, characteristics, and their role in watery kimchi
Won-Jeong Park1 • Se-Jin Kong1 • Jong-Hyun Park1
1 Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, College of Bionano Technology, Gachon University, Seongnam 13120, Republic of Korea
The bacteriophages (phages) in the watery kimchis (Baek-kimchi and Dongchimi) were characterized to determine the phage ecology of lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Kimchi obtained from the Seoul markets had an average of 2.1 log phage particles/mL, corresponding to 28% of the bacterial counts on a log scale. High counts of 5.5–6.5 log particles/mL of phages were noted in the early phase of fermentation (reaching pH 4), and 2.1–3.0 log phage particles/mL were found in the later phase, with some fluctuation in numbers. The LAB hosts changed from Weissella and Leuconostoc to Lactobacillus during Dongchimi fermentation. Fifteen phages, except for those of Lactobacillus, were isolated from diverse strains in the early phase. Five Weissella phages were Podoviridae, and all 10 Leuconostoc phages were Myoviridae. Phages had narrow and different host infection spectra to strains of the same species and high acidic stability. Therefore, the mortality and diversity of LAB during natural kimchi fermentation may be related to the specific phages of the hosts.
Bacteriophage · Lactic acid bacteria · Watery kimchi · Population · Host specificity
Food Science and Biotechnology 2021 ; 30(7): 949-957