On Thursday April 15, the Wisconsin State Assembly voted to designate Lactococcus lactis the official state microbe by a vote of 56 to 41. While primarily symbolic, the bill honors the microbe’s importance to the cheese making industry
The bacteria has been called the “unsung hero” of the cheese industry, being used to make cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack cheese. Genetically modified strains are also used in the treatment of disease.
If the bill is also approved by the Senate, Wisconsin will become the first state to designate an official microbe.