Molecular identification of naturally occurring bacteriocinogenic and bacteriocinogenic-like lactic acid bacteria in raw milk and soft cheese.J Dairy Sci 2010; 93(7):2880-6JD
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are currently used by food industries because of their ability to produce metabolites with antimicrobial activity against gram-positive pathogens and spoilage microorganisms. The objectives of this study were to identify naturally occurring bacteriocinogenic or bacteriocinogenic-like LAB in raw milk and soft cheese and to detect the presence of nisin-coding genes in cultures identified as Lactococcus lactis. Lactic acid bacteria cultures were isolated from 389 raw milk and soft cheese samples and were later characterized for the production of antimicrobial substances against Listeria monocytogenes. Of these, 58 (14.9%) LAB cultures were identified as antagonistic; the nature of this antagonistic activity was then characterized via enzymatic tests to confirm the proteinaceous nature of the antimicrobial substances. In addition, 20 of these antagonistic cultures were selected and submitted to genetic sequencing; they were identified as Lactobacillus plantarum (n=2) and Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis (n=18). Nisin genes were identified by polymerase chain reaction in 7 of these cultures. The identified bacteriocinogenic and bacteriocinogenic-like cultures were highly variable concerning the production and activity of antimicrobial substances, even when they were genetically similar. The obtained results indicated the need for molecular and phenotypic methodologies to properly characterize bacteriocinogenic LAB, as well as the potential use of these cultures as tools to provide food safety.