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Mol Biotechnol. 2008 Oct;40(2):170-9. doi: 10.1007/s12033-008-9073-4. Epub 2008 Jun 10.

Multi-loci sequence typing (MLST) for two lacto-acid bacteria (LAB) species: Pediococcus parvulus and P. damnosus.

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Plants and Pathogens Group, Research Institute Earth Nature and Landscape, School of Engineering of Lullier, University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, 150 Route de Presinge, 1254 Jussy, Switzerland.


The control of wine microbial population during and beyond fermentation is of huge importance for wine quality. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in wine are responsible for malolactic fermentation (MLF) which can be desired in some cases and undesirable in others. Some LAB do not perform MLF and their uncontrolled growth could contribute to severe wine spoilage such as undesired flavours. Their identification and detection is considered crucial for numerous biotechnological applications in food fermentations, where, through acidification and secretion of bacteriocins, they contribute to reduce food spoilage and growth of pathogenic microorganisms. LAB have traditionally been classified using morphological or biochemical features. Primary isolation, biochemical identification and phenotypic analysis are laborious, time consuming and inaccurate and often lead to misidentification within some genera such as Pediococcus. Molecular identification based on suitable marker genes could be an attractive alternative to conventional morphological and biochemical methods. We assessed here the applicability of four housekeeping genes recA, rplB, pyrG and leuS in combination with the mle gene in multi-loci sequence typing (MLST) of Pediococcus parvulus and Pediococcus damnosus. Sequencing and comparative analysis of sequence data were performed on 19 strains collected during wine fermentation. A combination of these five marker genes allowed for a clear differentiation of the strains analysed, indicating their applicability in molecular typing. Analysis of the observed nucleotide polymorphisms allowed designing highly discriminative primers for a multi-loci sequence typing (MLST) method that proved successful in detecting a particular isolate or sequence type of P. parvulus when using either conventional PCR or Real Time PCR.

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