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Int J Food Microbiol. 2003 May 25;83(1):1-14.

Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of Oenococcus oeni strains isolated from Italian wines.

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Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Agrarie, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Piazzale delle Cascine 27, I 50144 Florence, Italy.


A phenotypic and genotypic characterization of 84 Oenococcus oeni isolates from Italian wines of different oenological areas was carried out. Numerical analysis of fatty acid profiles grouped the isolates into two clusters at low level of similarity (63%), the minor cluster containing seven isolates besides the type and the reference strains. Forthy-eight O. oeni isolates, representative of the two clusters, showed no differences in their metabolic properties (heterolactic fermentation pattern, citrate degradation capability and formation of some secondary metabolites). Moreover, the analysis of species-specific randomly amplified polymorphic DNA and 16S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer region polymorphism as well as the sequence-specific separation of V3 region from 16S rDNA by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis demonstrated a substantial homogeneity among the isolates. On the basis of ApaI Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) restriction patterns, the 84 isolates were grouped into five different clusters at 70% similarity, but no correlation with the phenotypic groups could be demonstrated. However, by combining phenotypic and genotypic data, the 84 O. oeni isolates grouped into eight phenotypic-genotypic combined profiles and a relationship between the origin of the isolates and their combined profile became evident, so that a sort of strain specificity can be envisaged for each wine-producing area.

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