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This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the 10th Symposium on Lactic Acid Bacterium

Open Access Proceedings

Systems solutions by lactic acid bacteria: from paradigms to practice

Willem M de Vos

Author Affiliations

Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, and Department of Bacteriology & Immunology, Helsinki University, Finland

Microbial Cell Factories 2011, 10(Suppl 1):S2  doi:10.1186/1475-2859-10-S1-S2

Published: 30 August 2011

Abstract

Lactic acid bacteria are among the powerhouses of the food industry, colonize the surfaces of plants and animals, and contribute to our health and well-being. The genomic characterization of LAB has rocketed and presently over 100 complete or nearly complete genomes are available, many of which serve as scientific paradigms. Moreover, functional and comparative metagenomic studies are taking off and provide a wealth of insight in the activity of lactic acid bacteria used in a variety of applications, ranging from starters in complex fermentations to their marketing as probiotics. In this new era of high throughput analysis, biology has become big science. Hence, there is a need to systematically store the generated information, apply this in an intelligent way, and provide modalities for constructing self-learning systems that can be used for future improvements. This review addresses these systems solutions with a state of the art overview of the present paradigms that relate to the use of lactic acid bacteria in industrial applications. Moreover, an outlook is presented of the future developments that include the transition into practice as well as the use of lactic acid bacteria in synthetic biology and other next generation applications.