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Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.102, No.2, 515-538, 2018
Propionibacterium spp.-source of propionic acid, vitamin B12, and other metabolites important for the industry
Bacteria from the Propionibacterium genus consists of two principal groups: cutaneous and classical. Cutaneous Propionibacterium are considered primary pathogens to humans, whereas classical Propionibacterium are widely used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Bacteria from the Propionibacterium genus are capable of synthesizing numerous valuable compounds with a wide industrial usage. Biomass of the bacteria from the Propionibacterium genus constitutes sources of vitamins from the B group, including B12, trehalose, and numerous bacteriocins. These bacteria are also capable of synthesizing organic acids such as propionic acid and acetic acid. Because of GRAS status and their health-promoting characteristics, bacteria from the Propionibacterium genus and their metabolites (propionic acid, vitamin B12, and trehalose) are commonly used in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, food, and other industries. They are also used as additives in fodders for livestock. In this review, we present the major species of Propionibacterium and their properties and provide an overview of their functions and applications. This review also presents current literature concerned with the possibilities of using Propionibacterium spp. to obtain valuable metabolites. It also presents the biosynthetic pathways as well as the impact of the genetic and environmental factors on the efficiency of their production.