Smarter fermentations through starter culture genomics (2012–2015)
Cheese-making has taken place for thousands of years, yet process control and product quality have been greatly improved in the past 100 years, largely by using laboratory-propagated starter cultures. The main mesophilic cheese starter species (Lactococcus lactis) is prone to bacteriophage infection, necessitating use of strain mixtures and occasional strain replacement. The genetics underlying the properties of different strains and dynamics of mixed cultures are not well understood. This project will detail Lactococcus genome
variation in relation to industrial traits and develop new strain specific molecular diagnostics and novel strains, which will aid the Australian dairy industry by improving cheese-making consistency and quality.