Homopolysaccharide (glucan and fructan) synthesis from sucrose by sucrase enzymes in lactic acid bacteria (LAB) has been well studied in the genera Leuconostoc, Streptococcus and Lactobacillus. This study aimed to identify and characterize genes encoding glucansucrase/glucosyltransferase (GTF) and fructansucrases/fructosyltransferase (FTF) enzymes from genomic DNA of 'rare' Indonesian exopolysaccharide-producing LAB. From a total of 63 exopolysaccharide-producing LAB isolates obtained from foods, beverages and environmental samples, 18 isolates showing the most slimy and mucoid colony morphologies on sucrose were chosen for further study. By comparing bacterial growth on De Man, Rogosa and Sharpe (MRS)-sucrose with that on MRS-raffinose, and using the results of a previous PCR screening study with degenerate primer pairs targeting the conserved catalytic domain of GTFs, various strains were identified as producers of fructan (13), of glucan only (five) or as potential producers of both glucan and fructan (nine). Here, we report the characteristics of three gtf genes and one ftf gene obtained from Weissella confusa strains MBF8-1 and MBF8-2. Strain MBF8-1 harbored two putative gtf genes with high sequence similarity to GTFB of Lactobacillus reuteri 121 and GTF180 of L. reuteri 180, respectively. Strain MBF8-2 possessed single gtf and ftf genes with high sequence similarity to GTFKg3 of Lactobacillus fermentum Kg3 and DSRWC of Weissella cibaria, and FTF levansucrase of L. reuteri 121, respectively.
- Lactic acid bacteria