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J Proteomics. 2016 Sep 16;147:21-27. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2016.03.035. Epub 2016 Mar 30.

Unravelling the effect of clostridia spores and lysozyme on microbiota dynamics in Grana Padano cheese: A metaproteomics approach.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie e Sanità Pubblica, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.
Istituto di Biochimica e Biochimica Clinica, Università Cattolica, Roma, Italy; Proteomics and Metabonomics Unit, IRCCS-Fondazione Santa Lucia, Italy.
Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie e Sanità Pubblica, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy; Istituto Sperimentale Italiano Lazzaro Spallanzani, Milano, Italy. Electronic address:


Grana Padano is a typical Italian Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) hard cheese largely consumed all over the world. The major problem during its production is represented by late blowing. Clostridia are gasogen bacteria responsible of the swelling during ripening, and they are partially counteracted by the use of egg white lysozyme as additive. In this work was applied, for the first time in cheese, a metaproteomic approach that identified the functional dynamics of microbial consortia in relation to the number of clostridial spores and lysozyme treatment using experimental samples of Grana Padano cheese. We used a combined custom BLAST+/MEGAN/STAMP approach to obtain a global taxonomic view associated to low and high clostridial spores cheese without and with lysozyme. Main differences were highlighted in the bacilli class. Functional analysis with SEED provided a deep view into several metabolic pathways, highlighting the subsystems "amino acid and derivatives" and "clustering-based subsystem" as the targeted subsystems during lysozyme treatment in the high spore group. In these subsystems, acetate kinase from clostridia was one of the main enzymes affected by the lysozyme treatment.


Metaproteomics is a very promising and useful technique in the control of food safety and quality, from fresh products until 'ready to eat' food. Tools able to identify at molecular level the dynamic fingerprinting of food microbiota could be of great help to improve food safety and quality.


Cheese; Food quality; Food safety; Metaproteomics; Microbiota; Proteomics

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