Aims: Species-specific primers targeting the 16S–23S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) intergenic spacer region (ISR) were designed to rapidly discriminate between Lactobacillus mindensis, Lactobacillus panis, Lactobacillus paralimentarius, Lactobacillus pontis and Lactobacillus frumenti species recently isolated from French sourdough.
Methods and Results: The 16S–23S ISRs were amplified using primers 16S/p2 and 23S/p7, which anneal to positions 1388–1406 of the 16S rRNA gene and to positions 207–189 of the 23S rRNA gene respectively, Escherichia coli numbering (GenBank accession number V00331). Clone libraries of the resulting amplicons were constructed using a pCR2·1 TA cloning kit and sequenced. Species-specific primers were designed based on the sequences obtained and were used to amplify the 16S–23S ISR in the Lactobacillus species considered. For all of them, two PCR amplicons, designated as small ISR (S-ISR) and large ISR (L-ISR), were obtained. The L-ISR is composed of the corresponding S-ISR, interrupted by a sequence containing tRNAIle and tRNAAla genes. Based on these sequences, species-specific primers were designed and proved to identify accurately the species considered among 30 reference Lactobacillus species tested.
Conclusions: Designed species-specific primers enable a rapid and accurate identification of L. mindensis, L. paralimentarius, L. panis, L. pontis and L. frumenti species among other lactobacilli.
Significance and Impact of the Study: The proposed method provides a powerful and convenient means of rapidly identifying some sourdough lactobacilli, which could be of help in large starter culture surveys.