The conversion of pyruvate to lactate is a key feature of lactococcal strains. The enzyme which facilitates this conversion, L-lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and the gene which encodes it (), are therefore of great significance. This paper presents the cloning and DNA sequence analysis of three further lactococcal genes which are of key importance in the genetic manipulation of commercial starter strains. The gene from subsp. biovar BU2-60 has been isolated from a lambda library and sequenced. The gene from subsp. NCDO 762 and that from subsp. IL1403 have been amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequenced. These DNA sequences and deduced amino acid sequences have been compared with those from subsp. MG1363. The LDHs from subsp. MG1363 and subsp. NCDO 762 are 99.4% homologous. The LDHs from subsp. MG1363 and subsp. IL1403 are 96.4% homologous. The LDHs from subsp. IL1403 and subsp. biovar BU2-60 are 99,9% homologous. Our results provide further evidence that subsp. MG1363 and other subsp. NCDO 712 derived strains should be reclassified as subsp.


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