Evaluation of strain-specific primers for identification of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG


Correspondence: Akihito Endo, Functional Foods Forum, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turku, Finland. Tel.: +358 2 333 6894; fax: +358 2 333 6862;

e-mail: akihito.endo@utu.fi


Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG (ATCC 53103) is one of the most widely studied and commercialized probiotic strains, and thus strain-specific identification for the strain is highly valuable. In this study, two published PCR-based identification methods for strain GG, a transposase gene-targeting system and a phage-related gene-targeting system, were evaluated. The former produced amplicons from eight of the 41 strains tested and the phage-related system from five of the tested strains, including the strain GG. Fingerprinting analysis indicated that the strains LMG 18025, LMG 18030, and LMG 18038, which had an amplicon by the former system but none by the latter, were genetically distinguishable from L. rhamnosus GG at strain level. Strains LMG 23320, LMG 23325, LMG 23534, and LMG 25859 showed profiles very similar to that of the strain GG, suggesting that these strains might be identical to GG or derivative strains of it. The results here indicated that the phage-related gene-targeting system is a good tool for accurate identification of L. rhamnosus GG. This system would be able to detect both the original L. rhamnosus GG and its derivative strains.