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Aims: The study was carried out to evaluate the use of randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) as a method for the identification of lactobacilli isolated from meat products.

Methods and Results: RAPD-PCR with primers M13 and D8635 was applied to the identification and intraspecific differentiation of 53 lactobacilli isolates originating from traditional fermented sausages and artisanal meat plants of the Veneto region (Italy). Most of the isolates were assigned to the species Lactobacillus sakei and Lact. curvatus; differentiation of groups of strains within the species was also possible.

Conclusions: RAPD-PCR could be applied to the identification of lactobacilli species most commonly found in meat products.

Significance and Impact of the Study: The method, which is easy and rapid to perform, could be useful for the study of the lactobacilli populations present in fermented sausages, and could help in the selection of candidate strains to use as starter cultures in meat fermentation.