Lactococcal and streptococcal starter strains are crucial ingredients to manufacture fermented dairy products. As commercial starter culture suppliers and dairy producers attempt to overcome issues of phage sensitivity and develop new product ranges, there is an ever increasing need to improve technologies for the rational selection of novel starter culture blends. Whole genome sequencing, spurred on by recent advances in next-generation sequencing platforms, is a promising approach to facilitate rapid identification and selection of such strains based on gene-trait matching. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the available methodologies to analyse the technological potential of candidate starter strains and highlights recent advances in the area of dairy starter genomics.
Keywords: Dairy fermentation; Genomics; LAB; Lactococcus; Phage; Streptococcus.