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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 166;

Microbial Succession and the Dynamics of Chemical Compounds during the Solid-State Fermentation of Pu-erh Tea

College of Longrun Pu-erh Tea, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201, China
State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Bio-Resources in Yunnan, Kunming 650201, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 September 2016 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
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An in-depth knowledge of the microbiota and metabolites in the solid-state fermentation (SSF) of Post-fermented Pu-erh tea (Pu-erh Shucha, PFPT), a Chinese traditional tea with various health benefits, is essential to develop modern fermentation technology. In this work, the microbial diversity and succession in two laboratory-developed SSF protocols for PFPT were investigated using pyrosequencing analyses of the bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal 18S rRNA genes. The active bacteria in the initial stages of SSF (seven days) were from the raw materials and environment, with a dominance of Proteobacteria in both the raw materials and SSF after seven days. The environmental bacteria were inoculated into the tea mass throughout the fermentation process and multiplied, with a dominance of Firmicutes at day 14 and 21, and then Firmicutes and Actinobacteria at the last stages of fermentation (day 28 and 35). The dominant fungi came from the raw material and were identified at the genus level as Aspergillus throughout the SSF process. The contents of tea polyphenols, free amino acids, gallic acid, theaflavin, thearubigin, and catechins decreased significantly (p < 0.05), while the level of theabrownin increased significantly (p < 0.05). The caffeine content showed no significant change (p > 0.05). In total, 30 bacterial and three fungal genera showed significant correlations to 1–8 and 3–4 identified tea compounds, respectively (p < 0.05). The dynamics of the microbiota and chemical compounds, and correlations between their changes in the SSF of PFPT were revealed, and present a foundation for further studies on the microbial effects on chemical compounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: post-fermented Pu-erh tea; microbiota; solid-state fermentation; microbial community post-fermented Pu-erh tea; microbiota; solid-state fermentation; microbial community

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ma, Y.; Duan, S.; Zhang, D.; Su, X.; Zhang, D.; Lv, C.; Zhao, M. Microbial Succession and the Dynamics of Chemical Compounds during the Solid-State Fermentation of Pu-erh Tea. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 166.

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