Systems biology of lactic acid bacteria: For food and thought

Bas Teusink*, Douwe Molenaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) ferment plants, fish, meats and milk and turn them into tasty food products with increased shelf life; other LAB help digesting food and create a healthy environment in the intestine. The economic and societal importance of these relatively simple and small bacteria is immense. In this review we hope to show that their adaptations to nutrient-rich environments provides fascinating and often puzzling behaviours that give rise to many fundamental evolutionary biological questions in need of a systems biology approach. We will provide examples of such questions, compare the (metabolic) behaviour of LAB to that of other model organisms, and provide the latest insights, if available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Systems Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Biotechnology
  • Food fermentation
  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • Lactobacillus
  • Lactococcus
  • Systems biology


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