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J Dairy Sci. 2012 Sep;95(9):4868-72. doi: 10.3168/jds.2012-5445.

Technical note: development of a quantitative PCR method for monitoring strain dynamics during yogurt manufacture.

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  • 1Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802, USA.


Yogurt starter cultures may consist of multiple strains of Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus (LB) and Streptococcus thermophilus (ST). Conventional plating methods for monitoring LB and ST levels during yogurt manufacture do not allow for quantification of individual strains. The objective of the present work was to develop a quantitative PCR method for quantification of individual strains in a commercial yogurt starter culture. Strain-specific primers were designed for 2 ST strains (ST DGCC7796 and ST DGCC7710), 1 LB strain (DGCC4078), and 1 Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. lactis strain (LL; DGCC4550). Primers for the individual ST and LB strains were designed to target unique DNA sequences in clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats. Primers for LL were designed to target a putative mannitol-specific IIbC component of the phosphotransferase system. Following evaluation of primer specificity, standard curves relating cell number to cycle threshold were prepared for each strain individually and in combination in yogurt mix, and no significant differences in the slopes were observed. Strain balance data was collected for yogurt prepared at 41 and 43°C to demonstrate the potential application of this method.

Copyright © 2012 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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