Research Topic

The controversial nature of the weissella genus: biotechnological, functional and safety aspects of its application in food and health

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The Weissella genus is a group of Gram-positive, catalase-negative, heterofermentative, coccoid or rod-shaped lactic acid bacteria which, with the exception of Weissella (W.) beninensis, are all non-motile. Currently, this genus encompasses 16 validated species, also numbering W. kimchii, recently indicated ...

The Weissella genus is a group of Gram-positive, catalase-negative, heterofermentative, coccoid or rod-shaped lactic acid bacteria which, with the exception of Weissella (W.) beninensis, are all non-motile. Currently, this genus encompasses 16 validated species, also numbering W. kimchii, recently indicated as a later heterotypic synonym of W. cibaria. Weissella strains have been isolated from a wide range of sources such as soil, fresh vegetables, meat, fish, fermented silage, honey and fermented foods and beverages. Several studies have highlighted the importance of the Weissella genus in food due to negative and positive involvements of some strains in the spoilage and fermentation of several foodstuffs, while others have drown attention on the role of strains of this genus as opportunistic human and animal pathogens. Pro-technological features such as exopolysaccharide and bacteriocin production have contributed to render some Weissella strains
very attractive for biotechnological purposes. Other strains, mainly belonging to W. confusa, W. cibaria and W. koreensis, are being demonstrated to act as probiotics, further improving the range of the potential applications of Weissella spp. in the food industry.
This research topic will highlight the current knowledge on taxonomy, ecology, diagnostics, as well as on technological, functional and safety aspects of the Weissella genus for its application in food and health. Research papers, case reports, reviews, perspectives and opinion papers on these themes are welcome.


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