Lactic Acid Bacteria

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lactic Acid Bacteria


a group of anaerobic bacteria that ferment carbohydrates, chiefly to lactic acid.

All lactic acid bacteria are nonsporiferous, nonmotile, and gram-positive. Examples include the chain-forming cocci Streptococcus lactis and the rod-shaped Lactobacillus. Both Lactobacillus and Streptococcus ferment glucose and lactose and reproduce rapidly in milk and fermented milk products. Betabacterium ferments glucose and maltose.

Lactic acid bacteria are found in plant remains, in the soil around the root systems of plants (the rhizosphere), and in the intestines of man and animals. They are important in industry and agriculture. Certain species cause spoilage in wine and beer.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.