Author(s): Fitzsimons NA, Cogan TM, Condon S, Beresford T
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Abstract Non-starter lactic acid bacteria were isolated from 14 premium-quality and 3 sensorially defective mature Irish Cheddar cheeses, obtained from six manufacturers. From countable plates of Lactobacillus-selective agar, 20 single isolated colonies were randomly picked per cheese. All 331 viable isolates were biochemically characterized as mesophilic (i.e., group II) Lactobacillus spp. Phenotypically, the isolates comprised 96.4\% L. paracasei, 2.1\% L. plantarum, 0.3\% L. curvatus, 0.3\% L. brevis, and 0.9\% unidentified species. Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was used to rapidly identify the dominant strain groups in nine cheeses from three of the factories, and through clustering by the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic averages, an average of seven strains were found per cheese. In general, strains isolated from cheese produced at the same factory clustered together. The majority of isolates associated with premium-quality cheese grouped together and apart from clusters of strains from defective-quality cheese. No correlation was found between the isomer of lactate produced and RAPD profiles, although isolates which did not ferment ribose clustered together. The phenotypic and genotypic methods employed were validated with a selection of 31 type and reference strains of mesophilic Lactobacillus spp. commonly found in Cheddar cheese. RAPD analysis was found to be a useful and rapid method for identifying isolates to the species level. The low homology exhibited between RAPD banding profiles for cheese isolates and collection strains demonstrated the heterogeneity of the L. paracasei complex.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Gene Technology