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Abstract

Bacteriophages (or phages) represent one of the most persistent threats to food fermentations, particularly large-scale commercial dairy fermentations. Phages infecting lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that are used as starter cultures in dairy fermentations are well studied, and in recent years there have been significant advances in defining the driving forces of LAB–phage coevolution. The means by which different starter bacterial species defend themselves against phage predation and the chromosomal or plasmid location of the genes encoding these defense mechanisms have dictated the technological approaches for the development of robust starter cultures. In this review, we highlight recent advances in defining phage–host interactions and how phage resistance occurs in different bacterial species. Furthermore, we discuss how these insights continue to transform the dairy fermentation industry and how they also are anticipated to guide food fermentations involving plant-based alternatives in the future.

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2023-03-27
2024-06-17
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-food-060721-015928
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