The microflora of sourdough preparations was investigated by examining the physiological characteristics, whole-cell protein patterns, and 16S rRNA sequences of isolates. Strains isolated from sourdough were placed in the species , and . 16S rRNA sequences were determined for , and , and oligonucleotide probes for fast specific identification of these sourdough lactobacilli were deduced. The physiological characteristics, protein patterns, and 16S rRNA sequences of these organisms were compared with data for other sourdough lactobacilli and additional reference strains. Strains of a species were isolated from rye sourdough; these strains may account for most of the flora in sourdough made from wheat or rye. These organisms were differentiated from other sourdough lactobacilli by their protein pattern, 16S rRNA sequence, G+C content, and physiological properties. The 16S rRNA sequence of this species was determined, and we constructed a phylogenetic tree which reflected the relationships of this species to other lactobacilli. This organism is closely related to A new species, , is proposed. The type strain is LTH 2587 (= DSM 8475 = LMG 14187). We describe a general strategy in which a polyphasic approach was used to characterize a new species.


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