Molecular approaches for the identification and characterisation of oenological lactic acid bacteria
Together with yeast, lactic acid bacteria are the main microorganisms involved in winemaking. Lactic acid bacteria conduct malolactic fermentation, which is important in wines, since it changes the composition of wine, improving its organoleptic quality. In recent years, a great number of different molecular techniques for the identification and characterisation of lactic acid bacteria of oenological interest has been developed. In addition to species identification, using these techniques it is possible to know the genetic diversity of specific species and the evolution of bacteria population during winemaking. Moreover, an additional advantage is that they allow the study of wine microbiota without preliminary isolation and culture steps. In this paper, the main molecular techniques described in the literature for the detection, identification, typification and quantification of bacteria species and strains are reviewed.