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To characterize the bacterial community of taberna, an alcoholic traditional beverage from the Southern part of Mexico produced by the fermentation of the coyol palm sap (Acrocomia aculeate).Bacterial 16S rDNA libraries were constructed from metagenomic DNA extracted during the fermentation process at 0, 60 and 108 h. A total of 154 clones were sequenced, and 13, 10 and nine unique sequences were found at each sampling time. At the onset of the fermentation, Zymomonas mobilis, Fructobacillus spp., Pantoea agglomerans and other Gammaproteobacteria were detected. After 60 h, lactic acid bacteria were found and 30% of clones in the library were related to Lactobacillus nagelii, L. sucicola and L. sp. By the end of the experiment, i.e. after 108 h, the bacterial community included Z. mobilis, Lact. nagelii and Acetobacter pasteurianus.Our results suggest that Z. mobilis population represented an important proportion of the bacterial community (60–80%), as well as the lactobacilli during the fermentation process. The bacterial diversity was low and decreased as the fermentation progressed.This culture-independent study suggests that Z. mobilis and lactobacilli play an important role in the alcoholic fermentation of the taberna beverage.