Diversity of the microbiota involved in wine and organic apple cider submerged vinegar production as revealed by DHPLC analysis and next-generation sequencing

Int J Food Microbiol. 2016 Apr 16;223:57-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2016.02.007. Epub 2016 Feb 10.


Unfiltered vinegar samples collected from three oxidation cycles of the submerged industrial production of each, red wine and organic apple cider vinegars, were sampled in a Slovene vinegar producing company. The samples were systematically collected from the beginning to the end of an oxidation cycle and used for culture-independent microbial analyses carried out by denaturing high pressure liquid chromatography (DHPLC) and Illumina MiSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene variable regions. Both approaches showed a very homogeneous bacterial structure during wine vinegar production but more heterogeneous during organic apple cider vinegar production. In all wine vinegar samples Komagataeibacter oboediens (formerly Gluconacetobacter oboediens) was a predominating species. In apple cider vinegar the acetic acid and lactic acid bacteria were two major groups of bacteria. The acetic acid bacterial consortium was composed of Acetobacter and Komagataeibacter with the Komagataeibacter genus outcompeting the Acetobacter in all apple cider vinegar samples at the end of oxidation cycle. Among the lactic acid bacterial consortium two dominating genera were identified, Lactobacillus and Oenococcus, with Oenococcus prevailing with increasing concentration of acetic acid in vinegars. Unexpectedly, a minor genus of the acetic acid bacterial consortium in organic apple cider vinegar was Gluconobacter, suggesting a possible development of the Gluconobacter population with a tolerance against ethanol and acetic acid. Among the accompanying bacteria of the wine vinegar, the genus Rhodococcus was detected, but it decreased substantially by the end of oxidation cycles.

Keywords: Acetic acid bacteria; Acetobacter; Komagataeibacter; Lactic acid bacteria; Lactobacillus; Vinegar.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid*
  • Acetobacter / genetics
  • Acetobacter / growth & development
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / growth & development*
  • Biodiversity*
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Gluconacetobacter / genetics
  • Gluconacetobacter / growth & development
  • Malus / microbiology*
  • Oenococcus / genetics
  • Oenococcus / growth & development
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Wine / microbiology*


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Acetic Acid