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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Feb;73(4):1248-55. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Biodiversity of bacterial ecosystems in traditional Egyptian Domiati cheese.

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  • 1Department of Dairy Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Alexandria University, Aflaton Street, El-Shatby, Alexandria, Egypt.


Bacterial biodiversity occurring in traditional Egyptian soft Domiati cheese was studied by PCR-temporal temperature gel electrophoresis (TTGE) and PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Bands were identified using a reference species database (J.-C. Ogier et al., Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:5628-5643, 2004); de novo bands having nonidentified migration patterns were identified by DNA sequencing. Results reveal a novel bacterial profile and extensive bacterial biodiversity in Domiati cheeses, as reflected by the numerous bands present in TTGE and DGGE patterns. The dominant lactic acid bacteria (LAB) identified were as follows: Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactococcus garvieae, Aerococcus viridans, Lactobacillus versmoldensis, Pediococcus inopinatus, and Lactococcus lactis. Frequent non-LAB species included numerous coagulase-negative staphylococci, Vibrio spp., Kocuria rhizophila, Kocuria kristinae, Kocuria halotolerans, Arthrobacter spp./Brachybacterium tyrofermentans. This is the first time that the majority of these species has been identified in Domiati cheese. Nearly all the dominant and frequent bacterial species are salt tolerant, and several correspond to known marine bacteria. As Domiati cheese contains 5.4 to 9.5% NaCl, we suggest that these bacteria are likely to have an important role in the ripening process. This first systematic study of the microbial composition of Domiati cheeses reveals great biodiversity and evokes a role for marine bacteria in determining cheese type.

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