Genomic Evolution of Domesticated Microorganisms

Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2010;1:397-414. doi: 10.1146/


Strains of lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, and molds have been selected over thousands of years based on the unique sensory attributes they provide to food fermentations. Over the centuries they have evolved to their domesticated roles, leading to genome decay, loss of pathways, acquisition of genomic elements, and beneficial mutations that provide an advantage in their nutrient-rich food environments. This review highlights the evolutionary traits influenced by the domestication process as these microbes adapted to nutrient-rich foods developed by humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Fermentation
  • Food Handling
  • Food Microbiology* / methods
  • Fungi / genetics*
  • Fungi / metabolism
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillales / genetics*
  • Lactobacillales / metabolism
  • Microbial Viability
  • Selection, Genetic*