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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2001 Dec;24(4):561-71.

Polyphasic investigation of the diversity within Lactobacillus plantarum related strains revealed two L. plantarum subgroups.

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Laboratoire de Microbiologie et de Génétique, Université Louis-Pasteur Strasbourg-I, CNRS, France.


The diversity of 140 strains related to Lactobacillus plantarum was investigated using a polyphasic approach combining two molecular techniques: randomly amplified polymorphic DNA fingerprinting (RAPD) and Southern hybridisation with a pyr probe on BglI digests of chromosomal DNA, as well as phenotypic characterization. The RAPD technique allowed us to classify a subset of 60 representative strains into four groups. One group belonged to Lactobacillus paraplantarum, the second to Lactobacillus pentosus and the two remaining groups to L. plantarum (G(L)p1 and G(L)p2). The Southern hybridisation technique (F. Bringel, M.-C. Curk and J.-C. Hubert, Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 46: 588-594, 1996) revealed nine groups of profiles (I to IX). Results indicated an excellent convergence between RAPD and hybridisation classifications for more than 93% (56/60) of the strains studied. When we compared the fermentation patterns of the L. plantarum strains, three differences were found. Melezitose fermentation was not fermented by the G(L)p2 RAPD group, unlike the G(L)p1 RAPD group which included L. plantarum type strain NCIMB11974T. Second, alpha-methyl-D-mannoside was fermented by a majority of the strains of the G(L)p1 RAPD group but by none of the strains in the G(L)p2 RAPD group. Third, dulcitol was catabolized by nearly half of the strains of the G(L)p2 RAPD group but by none of the strains in the G(L)p1 RAPD group. Molecular diversity within L. plantarum was confirmed using Southern profiles, PCR amplification and subsequent sequencing of these PCR products. A 773 bp sequence overlapping the pyrDF genes showed high homology: at least 97% identical in L. plantarum strains (V to IX) and 99.9% identical in hybridisation groups VII and VIII. The same G-T transversion which destroyed the pyrF BglI site was found in 11 strains (hybridisation groups VI, VII and VIII). DNA rearrangements were identified downstream from the pyr genes, by PCR amplification and Southern hybridisation profile analysis in three strains of hybridisation groups VIII and IX, two of which also harboured the G-T transversion.

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