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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2007 Jan;30(1):50-7. Epub 2006 Apr 19.

Molecular identification and differentiation of Brevibacterium species and strains.

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Federal Dairy Research Center, Institute of Microbiology, Hermann-Weigmann Str. 1, D-24103 Kiel, Germany.


Amplified ribosomal DNA restriction enzyme analysis (ARDRA), pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and ribotyping were used to differentiate among 24 strains of Brevibacterium linens, Brevibacterium casei and Brevibacterium epidermidis obtained from type culture collections or isolated from various smear ripened cheeses. ARDRA was applied to the 16S rDNA. B. linens was shown to be a quite heterogenic group with 2 to at least 4 copies of rrn operons per strain with aberrant nucleotide sequences. AccI gave genus specific restriction patterns and was used to separate Brevibacterium from Corynebacterium species. The expected species specificity of TaqI applied to B. linens type culture strains, but not to all strains isolated from cheese. By AvaI restriction, B. casei and B. linens were differentiated from B. epidermidis and the orange pigmented Arthrobacter casei, a new species of coryneform bacteria; by XmnI restriction, B. linens and B. epidermidis were differentiated from B. casei. One of 4 B. linens genotypes could not be distinguished from B. casei by this method. Here, the typical orange B. linens pigments were used for classification, which was confirmed by partial sequencing of the 16S rDNA.

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