Analysis of microbial community structure of pit mud for Chinese strong-flavor liquor fermentation using next generation DNA sequencing of full-length 16S rRNA
The pit is the necessary bioreactor for brewing process of Chinese strong-flavor liquor. Pit mud in pits contains a large number of microorganisms and is a complex ecosystem. The analysis of bacterial flora in pit mud is of great significance to understand liquor fermentation mechanisms. To overcome taxonomic limitations of short reads in 16S rRNA variable region sequencing, we used high-throughput DNA sequencing of near full-length 16S rRNA gene to analyze microbial compositions of different types of pit mud that produce different qualities of strong-flavor liquor. The results showed that the main species in pit mud were Pseudomonas extremaustralis 14-3, Pseudomonas veronii, Serratia marcescens WW4, and Clostridium leptum in Ruminiclostridium. The microbial diversity of pit mud with different quality was significantly different. From poor to good quality of pit mud (thus the quality of liquor), the relative abundances of Ruminiclostridium and Syntrophomonas in Firmicutes was increased, and the relative abundance of Olsenella in Actinobacteria also increased, but the relative abundances of Pseudomonas and Serratia in Proteobacteria were decreased. The surprising findings of this study include that the diversity of intermediate level quality of N pit mud was the lowest, and the diversity levels of high quality pit mud G and poor quality pit mud B were similar. Correlation analysis showed that there were high positive correlations (r > 0.8) among different microbial groups in the flora. Based on the analysis of the microbial structures of pit mud in different quality, the good quality pit mud has a higher microbial diversity, but how this higher diversity and differential microbial compositions contribute to better quality of liquor fermentation remains obscure.