A screening test was conducted for environmental samples to isolate halophilic lactic acid bacteria (HLAB) that can act as a starter in a Nori (Porphyra yezoensis)-sauce culture.Method and Results:
After 9 months of incubation of enrichment cultures added with 25 kinds of environmental samples, growth of HLAB-like microorganisms was observed in six cultures salted at a 15% w/w level, including culture samples originally from mesopelagic water taken from 321 m-depth and from mountain snow taken at 2450 m-height. Ten strains were isolated and characterized as Tetragenococcus halophilus based on sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. The isolates were inoculated into a newly prepared Nori-sauce culture and were confirmed to be able to act as a starter culture while three reference strains of T. halophilus obtained from a culture collection could not grow in the same culture.Conclusions:
Halophilic lactic acid bacteria strains that can make growth in a highly salted Nori-sauce culture were isolated from environmental samples for the first time. All the isolates were identified as T. halophilus.Significance and Impact of the Study:
The isolated strains are expected to be utilized as a starter culture for manufacturing fermented seaweed-sauce, which will be the first fermented food products obtained from algae.