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Article

Environmental Selection Shapes Bacterial Community Composition in Traditionally Fermented Maize-Based Foods from Benin, Tanzania and Zambia

1
Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 17, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute, Ifakara Centre, Ifakara, Tanzania
3
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, School of Agricultural Sciences, University of Zambia, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
4
Food Quality and Design, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 17, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Agapi I. Doulgeraki and Chrysoula Tassou
Microorganisms 2022, 10(7), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10071354
Received: 16 May 2022 / Revised: 23 June 2022 / Accepted: 24 June 2022 / Published: 5 July 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbial Diversity 2.0)
Natural (microbial) communities are complex ecosystems with many interactions and cross-dependencies. Among other factors, selection pressures from the environment are thought to drive the composition and functionality of microbial communities. Fermented foods, when processed using non-industrial methods, harbor such natural microbial communities. In non-alcoholic fermented foods the fermenting microbiota is commonly dominated by 4–10 species of bacteria, which make them suitable model systems to study ecosystem assembly and functioning. In this study, we assess the influence of the environment on the composition of microbial communities of traditional fermented products from Africa. We compare differences between microbial communities that are found in similar products but come from different countries, hypothesizing they experience different environmental selection pressures. We analyzed bacterial community composition in 36 samples of various cereal-based fermented foods from Benin, Tanzania and Zambia using 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing. The differential abundance analysis indicates that the bacterial communities of fermented foods from the three countries are dominated by mostly lactic acid bacteria belonging to the genera of Lactobacillus, Weisella and Curvibacter. The samples from Zambia contain the most dissimilar microbial communities in comparison with samples from Benin and Tanzania. We propose this is caused by the relatively low temperature in Zambia, suggesting that indeed environmental selection can shape community composition of fermenting microbes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Munkoyo; Mawè; Aklui; Togwa; traditional fermentation; species sorting; 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing Munkoyo; Mawè; Aklui; Togwa; traditional fermentation; species sorting; 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Jong, M.; Alekseeva, A.Y.; Miraji, K.F.; Phiri, S.; Linnemann, A.R.; Schoustra, S.E. Environmental Selection Shapes Bacterial Community Composition in Traditionally Fermented Maize-Based Foods from Benin, Tanzania and Zambia. Microorganisms 2022, 10, 1354. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10071354

AMA Style

de Jong M, Alekseeva AY, Miraji KF, Phiri S, Linnemann AR, Schoustra SE. Environmental Selection Shapes Bacterial Community Composition in Traditionally Fermented Maize-Based Foods from Benin, Tanzania and Zambia. Microorganisms. 2022; 10(7):1354. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10071354

Chicago/Turabian Style

de Jong, Maarten, Anna Y. Alekseeva, Kulwa F. Miraji, Sydney Phiri, Anita R. Linnemann, and Sijmen E. Schoustra. 2022. "Environmental Selection Shapes Bacterial Community Composition in Traditionally Fermented Maize-Based Foods from Benin, Tanzania and Zambia" Microorganisms 10, no. 7: 1354. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10071354

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