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Int J Food Microbiol. 2013 Jul 15;165(2):175-83. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.05.007. Epub 2013 May 17.

Rapid identification of dairy mesophilic and thermophilic sporeforming bacteria using DNA high resolution melt analysis of variable 16S rDNA regions.

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1
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia campus, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.

Abstract

Due to their ubiquity in the environment and ability to survive heating processes, sporeforming bacteria are commonly found in foods. This can lead to product spoilage if spores are present in sufficient numbers and where storage conditions favour spore germination and growth. A rapid method to identify the major aerobic sporeforming groups in dairy products, including Bacillus licheniformis group, Bacillus subtilis group, Bacillus pumilus group, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus cereus group, Geobacillus species and Anoxybacillus flavithermus was devised. This method involves real-time PCR and high resolution melt analysis (HRMA) of V3 (~70 bp) and V6 (~100 bp) variable regions in the 16S rDNA. Comparisons of HRMA curves from 194 isolates of the above listed sporeforming bacteria obtained from dairy products which were identified using partial 16S rDNA sequencing, allowed the establishment of criteria for differentiating them from each other and several non-sporeforming bacteria found in samples. A blinded validation trial on 28 bacterial isolates demonstrated complete accuracy in unambiguous identification of the 7 different aerobic sporeformers. The reliability of HRMA method was also verified using boiled extractions of crude DNA, thereby shortening the time needed for identification. The HRMA method described in this study provides a new and rapid approach to identify the dominant mesophilic and thermophilic aerobic sporeforming bacteria found in a wide variety of dairy products.

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