Genotypic and phenotypic characterization of foodborne Geobacillus stearothermophilus

Abstract : Geobacillus stearothermophilus is the main thermophilic spore former involved in flat sour spoilage of canned foods. Three typing methods were tested and applied to differentiate strains at intra-species level: panC sequence analysis, REP-PCR and M13-PCR. panC gene was highly conserved within the studied strains, suggesting a low intra-specific diversity. This was supported by REP-PCR primary assays and M13-PCR results. M13-PCR profile analysis succeeded in differentiating six closely related groups (at 79% threshold similarity) among 127 strains from a range of spoiled canned food products and from different canneries. Phenotypic traits were investigated among 20 selected strains representing groups and origins. Ranges of growth under different temperatures (from 40 C to 70 C), pH (from 5.0 to 6.5), NaCl concentrations (from 1 to 5%) and sporulation conditions poorly differed between strains, but wet heat resistance of spores showed a 20-fold variation between strains. Furthermore, in this study, strains that belonged to the same M13-PCR genetic group did not share phenotypic characteristics or common origin. The work emphasizes a low diversity within the G. stearothermophilus species but data from this study may contribute to a better control of G. stearothermophilus spoilage in canned food.
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Loïc Durand, Stella Planchon, Marie-Hélène Guinebretiere, Frédéric Carlin, Fabienne Remize. Genotypic and phenotypic characterization of foodborne Geobacillus stearothermophilus. Food Microbiology, Elsevier, 2015, 45, pp.103 - 110. ⟨10.1016/j.fm.2014.01.015⟩. ⟨hal-01591971⟩

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