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Comparative functional analysis of malate metabolism genes in Oenococcus oeni and Lactiplantibacillus plantarum at low pH and their roles in acid stress response
Food Research International  (IF7.425),  Pub Date : 2022-04-14, DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2022.111235
Qiling Chen, Nan Hao, Lili Zhao, Xiangke Yang, Yuxin Yuan, Yuzhu Zhao, Fu Wang, Zuobing Qiu, Ling He, Kan Shi, Shuwen Liu

Oenococcus oeni and Lactiplantibacillus plantarum are major wine-associated lactic acid bacteria that positively influence wine by carrying out malolactic fermentation. O. oeni is the most widely used commercial starter in winemaking because of its fast and efficient malate metabolism capacity under harsh wine conditions. To date, very little is known about the specific molecular mechanism underlying the differences in malate metabolism between O. oeni and L. plantarum under harsh wine conditions. Therefore, in this study, the functions of genes encoding malic enzyme (ME) and malolactic enzyme (MLE) under acid stress in O. oeni and L. plantarum, previously described to have the ability to direct malate metabolism, were comparatively verified through genetic manipulation in L. plantarum. Results showed that the MLE was the only enzyme responsible for direct malate metabolism under acid stress in O. oeni and L. plantarum. In addition, the MLEs in O. oeni and L. plantarum were positively related to acid tolerance by metabolizing malate and increasing the medium pH. Furthermore, the MLE in O. oeni exhibited significantly higher malate metabolism activity than that in L. plantarum under acid stress.