Lactococcus lactis

From MicrobeWiki, the student-edited microbiology resource

A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Lactococcus lactis


Higher order taxa

Bacteria, Firmicutes, Bacilli, Lactobacillales, Streptococcacaeae, Lactococcus


NCBI: Taxonomy

Lactococcus lactis

Description and significance

Lactococcus lactis is a rod shaped, gram positive bacteria used widely for producing fermented dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt. It is believed that in nature, L. lactis stays dormant on plant surface awaiting to be ingested along with the plant into animal gastrointestinal tract, where it becomes active. It is classified as a lactic acid bacterium(LAB) which converts carbohydrates into lactic acid. It plays an significant role to the food industry, so studies have been done on the genome of Lactococcus lactis extensively to improve its application in dairy products. Not only it is important in dairy production, it has potential of use as oral vaccine and foreign protein production and metabolite.

Genome structure

The genome of L. lactis is a circular chromosome with 2,365,589 base pairs where 86% of the genome codes for protein, 1.4% for RNA, and 12.6% for noncoding region. The initiation genes for DNA replication in L. lactis includes dnaB, dnaD, and dnaI, and polC and dnaE for DNA polymerase III. There are around some 30 genes found in L. lactis for transcription along with only 3 sigma-factor, while the translation mechanism comprise of 119 genes.

Cell structure and metabolism

Describe any interesting features and/or cell structures; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.


Describe any interactions with other organisms (included eukaryotes), contributions to the environment, effect on environment, etc.


How does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.

Application to Biotechnology

Does this organism produce any useful compounds or enzymes? What are they and how are they used?

Current Research

Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required


[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500.

Edited by student of Rachel Larsen and Kit Pogliano