Phenotypic and genotypic identification of yeasts from cheese

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Abstract

Eighty-five yeast strains isolated from different cheeses of Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, and Italy were identified using physiological methods and genotypically using random amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) analysis. Good congruence was found between the phenotypic and genotypic data for 39 of the isolates. However, 26 isolates of Geotrichum could only be identified to the species level using the genotypic methods and 7 isolates were correctly identified to the genus level only using phenotypic identification methods. The phenotypic identification did not agree with the genotypic data for 14 yeast isolates. Using ubiquinone analysis, yeast cell wall sugars and the diazonium blue B test 5 incorrectly identified isolates with phenotypic methods could be identified genotypically. In addition the 7 isolates identified only to the genus level by the phenotypic methods and the 26 Geotrichum strains were identified to the species level using the polyphasic molecular approach mentioned above. Eleven strains remained unidentified. The 76 identified yeast isolates were assigned to 39 species, the most frequent assignments were made to Debaryomyces hansenii, Geotrichum candidum, Issatchenkia orientalis, Kluyveromyces lactis, K. marxianus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Yarrowia lipolytica, and Candida catenulata. It is proposed that Debaryomyces hansenii (Zopf) Lodder et Kreger-van Rij and Debaryomyces fabryi Ota should be reinstated. The RAPD-PCR data reinforced the view that the species Galactomyces geotrichum is heterogeneous with all of the Geotrichum isolates from cheese products being assigned G. geotrichum group A sensu M.T. Smith. It is suggested that the name Geotrichum candidum be conserved for this rather common species.

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