Lactobacillus camelliae

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Domain: Bacteria Kingdom: Bacteria Phylum: Firmicutes Class: Bacilli Order: Lactobacillales Family: Lactobacillaceae Genus: Lactobacillus Species: Lactobacillus camelliae

Genus Species

Lactobacillus camelliae

Description and Significance

Lactobacillus, also called Döderlein's bacillus, is a genus of Gram-positive facultative anaerobic or microaerophilic rod-shaped bacteria. They are a major part of the lactic acid bacteria group, named as such because most of its members convert lactose and other sugars to lactic acid. [1] Lactobacillus camelliae is the species of Lactobacillus which found in camellia leaves.

Structure, Metabolism, and Life Cycle

Lactobacillus camelliae has 1-1530 16S ribosomal RNA sequence product. It was isolated from fermented tea leaves (miang) and stained MCH3-1. Enterococcus camelliea, a Gram-positive and catalase-negative coccus that formed chains, strain FP15-1(T), isolated from fermented tea leaves ('miang'), was studied systematically.

There was a research that eighteen rod-shaped homofermentatives, six heterofermentatives, and a coccal homofermentative lactic acid bacteria were isolated from fermented tea leaves (miang) produced in the northern part of Thailand. The isolates were placed in a monophyletic cluster consisting of Lactobacillus and Pediococcus species. They were divided into seven groups by phenotypic and chemotaxonomic characteristics, DNA-DNA similarity, and 16S rRNA gene sequences. Groups I to VI belonged to Lactobacillus and Group VII to Pediococcus. It indicated that two strains in Group IV were proposed as Lactobacillus camelliae sp. nov., and the type strain was MCH3-1(T) (BCC 21233(T)=JCM 13995(T)=NRIC 0672(T)=PCU 273(T)) which has 51.9 mol% G+C of DNA. [2]

Many lactobacilli are unusual in that they operate using homofermentative metabolism (that is, they produce only lactic acid from sugars in contrast to heterofermentative lactobacilli which can produce either alcohol or lactic acid from sugars) and are aerotolerant despite the complete absence of a respiratory chain. This aerotolerance is manganese-dependent. Many lactobacilli do not require iron for growth and have an extremely high hydrogen peroxide tolerance.

Ecology and Pathogenesis

In humans, Lactobacillus are present in the vagina [3] and the gastrointestinal tract, where they make up a small portion of the gut flora. [4] They are usually benign, except in the mouth where they have been associated with cavities and tooth decay (dental caries). Lactobacillus camelliae are prominent in decaying plant material. The production of lactic acid makes its environment acidic, which inhibits the growth of some harmful bacteria.

Some strains of Lactobacillus sp. and other lactic acid bacteria may possess potential therapeutic properties including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities, as well as other features of interest. Lactobacilli can also be used to restore particular physiological balance such as in the vaginal eco-system. [5] [6] [7]Their role is (1) to physically protect the vaginal epithelium by building a thick layer separating the epithelium from pathogens, (2) to physiologically keep the balance of the vaginal ecosystem in maintaining the pH at ~4.5, (3) generating hydrogen peroxide against pathogens. Lactobacilli are highly tolerant to low pH and can easily maintain low pH and protect the vaginal eco-system from Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.


[1] [] Makarova, K.; Slesarev, A.; Wolf, Y.; Sorokin, A.; Mirkin, B.; Koonin, E.; Pavlov, A.; Pavlova, N. et al. (Oct 2006). "Comparative genomics of the lactic acid bacteria". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A103 (42): 15611–6. doi:10.1073/pnas.0607117103.PMC 1622870. PMID 17030793.

[2] Tanasupawat, S., Pakdeeto, A., Thawai, C., Yukphan, P., and Okada, S. Identification of lactic acid bacteria from fermented tea leaves (miang) in Thailand and proposals of Lactobacillus thailandensis sp. nov., Lactobacillus camelliae sp. nov., and Pediococcus siamensis sp. nov." J. Gen. Appl. Microbiol. (2007) 53:7-15.

[3] [] Dicks, LMT; M. Silvester, PA Lawson, MD Collins (2000)."Lactobacillus fornicalis sp. nov., isolated from the posterior fornix of the human vagina". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (Society for General Microbiology) 50(3): 1253–8. doi:10.1099/00207713-50-3-1253. ISSN 1466-5034. PMID 10843070. Retrieved February 14, 2010.

[4] []

[5] Reid, G.; Dols, J.; Miller, W. (2009). "Targeting the vaginal microbiota with probiotics as a means to counteract infections".Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 12 (6): 583–587. doi:10.1097/MCO.0b013e328331b611.PMID 19741517.

[6] Osset, J.; Bartolomé, R. M.; García, E.; Andreu, A. N. (2001). "Assessment of the Capacity ofLactobacillusto Inhibit the Growth of Uropathogens and Block Their Adhesion to Vaginal Epithelial Cells". The Journal of Infectious Diseases 183 (3): 485–491.doi:10.1086/318070. PMID 11133381.

[7] Pascual, L. M.; Daniele, M. B.; Ruiz, F.; Giordano, W.; Pájaro, C.; Barberis, L. (2008). "Lactobacillus rhamnosus L60, a potential probiotic isolated from the human vagina". The Journal of general and applied microbiology 54 (3): 141–148.PMID 18654035.


Page authored by __Kaiwen Huang___, student of Mandy Brosnahan, Instructor at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, MICB 3301/3303: Biology of Microorganisms.