Propionibacteria as cell factories
Propionic acid bacteria are bacteria that produce propionic acid as primary fermentation product. Propionibacteria can be found in swiss-type cheese and are responsible for the characteristic taste and holes ('eyes') found in these cheeses. Propionibacteria are well-known food-grade producers of Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient in human nutrition. Furthermore they are used for industrial production of propionic acid and have been implicated as potential probiotic. Although propionibacteria are used in industrial and food applications, little is known about their natural habitat.
The aim of this project is to increase our understanding of the natural habitat of propionibacteria and use these conditions for improving biotechnological production of compounds, such as B12.