The genomic and metabolic features of Weissella koreensis, one of the major lactic acid bacteria in kimchi, were investigated through genomic, metabolic, and transcriptomic analyses for the genomes of strains KCTC 3621T, KACC 15510, and WiKim0080. W. koreensis strains were intrinsically vancomycin-resistant and harbored potential hemolysin genes that were actively transcribed although no hemolysin activity was detected. KEGG and reconstructed fermentative metabolic pathways displayed that W. koreensis strains commonly employ the heterolactic pathway to produce d-lactate, ethanol, acetate, CO2, d-sorbitol, thiamine, and folate from various carbohydrates including d-glucose, d-mannose, d-lactose, l-malate, d-xylose, l-arabinose, d-ribose, N-acetyl-glucosamine, and gluconate, and strains KCTC 3621T and WiKim0080 additionally have metabolic pathways of d-galacturonate and d-glucoronate. Phenotypic analyses showed that all strains did not ferment d-galactose, probably due to the lack of d-galactose transporting system, and strains KCTC 3621T and WiKim0080 fermented d-fructose, indicating the presence of d-fructose transporting system. Fermentative features of W. koreensis were investigated through kimchi transcriptional analysis, suggesting that W. koreensis is mainly responsible for kimchi fermentation with the production of various fermentative metabolites during late fermentation period. This was the first study to investigate the genomic and metabolic features of W. koreensis, which may provide better understandings on kimchi fermentation.
Journal: Food microbiology