From their key role in food fermentation to their beneficial effects on human and animal bodies, Lactobacillus species are of great importance in human life. The objective of this paper was to present a current revolutionary change in taxonomic nomenclature with reference to the history of Lactobacillus genus, and to discuss the impact of that change on consumers, probiotic food producers, and other interested parties. Fifteen scientists from twelve different institutions and seven different countries analyzed the entire genome of every known Lactobacillus species and suggested changes. Their proposition was accepted for publication in the official journal of bacterial name registers. The authors assumed a multiphase approach in their analyses and on this basis they reclassified the Lactobacillus genus into 25 types. This unprecedented scale of changes can be confusing to the interested. However it also has a number of benefits associated with grouping closely related bacteria into more uniform and evolutionarily stable taxa and also with creating a possibility to better design targeted food groups characterised by functionality and biological effectiveness.
Lactobacillus, probiotics, taxonomy, genus