A collection of facultatively heterofermentative lactobacilli from different geographical origins was analysed by total protein SDS-PAGE, RAPD and FTIR. The collection was also screened for utilisation of potential single energy sources. It was shown that a majority of Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus isolates but no Lactobacillus plantarum isolate was able to metabolise citrate with production of acetate, formate and carbon dioxide in the absence of another energy source. Large differences were also found between the species and the strains with regard to peptidase activities and the abilities to hydrolyse β-casein and to grow on milk agar. © 2001 Academic Press.
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