Nukadoko is a naturally fermented rice bran mash traditionally used for pickling vegetables in Japan; its refreshment and fermentation cycles sometimes continue for many years. Here, we investigated the structure and dynamics of the bacterial community in nukadoko by conducting pyrosequencing and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses of 16S ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA). Of the 16 different samples studied, 13 showed Lactobacillus-dominated microbiota, suggesting that aged nukadoko samples tend to realize a niche, favorable Lactobacillus species. The lactic acid bacterial community of each of the 16 samples was classified into 3 types according to the presence or absence of 2 predominant species, Lactobacillus namurensis and Lactobacillus acetotolerans. The dynamics of the bacterial community during fermentation and the subsequent ripening process were examined using a laboratory model of nukadoko inoculated with an aged nukadoko sample (inoculated model). Lb. namurensis grew rapidly in the first 2. days, accompanied with a rapid decrease in pH and an increase in lactate levels, while Lb. acetotolerans grew with a longer doubling time and slow acidification during the 20. days after inoculation. On the other hand, spontaneous fermentation of the nukadoko model prepared from fresh rice bran without the nukadoko inoculation (inoculant-free model), showed the growth of some non-Lactobacillus species such as staphylococci and bacilli within the first 10. days; thereafter, Lb. namurensis was dominant, while Lb. acetotolerans was not detected during the 20-day experimental period. These results suggest that the naturally established Lactobacillus community in aged nukadoko is effectively involved in the biocontrol of the microbial community of nukadoko during the refreshment and fermentation cycles.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science