|Drake, HL: Lactovum in Holzapfel, W., Wood, B.J.B. (eds.): Lactic Acid Bacteria-Biodiversity and Taxonomy, Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Oxford, in press (2013)|
Lactovum is a chemoorganotrophic genus characterized by egg-shaped cells that ferment glucose to lactate, properties that were used to derive the genus epithet that indicates ‘the capacity to form lactate yields egg-shaped cells’ (Drake 2009; Matthies et al. 2004). The type strain Lactovum miscens is characterized by a mixed fermentative metabolism that yields various amounts of lactate, ethanol, formate, and acetate depending on the substrate utilized. This physiological feature is reflected in the derivation of the species epithet that means ‘mixed fermentative metabolism’ (Drake 2009; Matthies et al. 2004). L. miscens is a psychrotolerant, aerotolerant anaerobe that was isolated from acidic forest soil and is the sole isolated species of Lactovum to date. Its origin is not without interest, in that its closest relatives (species of Lactococcus and Streptococcus) are classically considered to be associated with plant material, dairy products, or animals including humans. This review evaluates the general physiological properties and phylogeny of Lactovum.