World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2022 Jun 14;38(8):137. doi: 10.1007/s11274-022-03303-7.
The superior grade Daqu (S_Daqu) and normal grade Daqu (N_Daqu) have obvious differences in flavor, fracture surface, appearance, etc., which can be accurately grouped by well-trained panel based on their sensory properties. However, the differences in microbial community diversity and metabolites between the S_Daqu and N_Daqu were still unclear. The culture-dependent method, the third generation Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) were combined to show the characteristics in microorganisms and metabolites. Results showed that the fungal counts were higher in N_Daqu while the richness of bacterial communities was higher in S_Daqu (P < 0.05). Lentibacillus, Burkholderia, Saccharopolyspora, Thermoascus, and Rasamsonia were the dominant genera of S_Daqu while Staphylococcus, Scopulibacillus, and Chromocleista were the dominant genera in N_Daqu. The content of differential acids, amino acids, and alcohols including fumarate, glucuronate, glycine, 4-carboxyglutamate, and myo-inositol in S_Daqu was higher than that in N_Daqu by 1H NMR coupled with multivariate statistical analysis. The network analysis regarding microbes and metabolites suggested that Saccharopolyspora showed a strong positive correlation with 4-carboxyglutamate while Thermoascus and Chromocleista were highly negatively correlated with alanine and isobutyrate, respectively. Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) Effect Size (LEfSe) revealed that Macrococcus and Caulobacter were regarded as bacterial biomarkers in the S_Daqu while Chromocleista was the key fungal genera in N_Daqu. Functionality prediction indicated that the bacteria in S_Daqu were largely involved in more metabolic activities including biosynthesis, degradation, detoxification, and generation of precursor metabolite and energy.