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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2013 Mar;36(2):75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.syapm.2012.09.002. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Rapid identification of acetic acid bacteria using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry fingerprinting.

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Microbiology Unit, Botany and Plant Biology Dept., University of Geneva, Ch. Des Embrouchis 10, CH-1254 Jussy-Geneva, Switzerland.


Acetic acid bacteria (AAB) are widespread microorganisms characterized by their ability to transform alcohols and sugar-alcohols into their corresponding organic acids. The suitability of matrix-assisted laser desorption-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) for the identification of cultured AAB involved in the industrial production of vinegar was evaluated on 64 reference strains from the genera Acetobacter, Gluconacetobacter and Gluconobacter. Analysis of MS spectra obtained from single colonies of these strains confirmed their basic classification based on comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. MALDI-TOF analyses of isolates from vinegar cross-checked by comparative sequence analysis of 16S rRNA gene fragments allowed AAB to be identified, and it was possible to differentiate them from mixed cultures and non-AAB. The results showed that MALDI-TOF MS analysis was a rapid and reliable method for the clustering and identification of AAB species.

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