Aims: In the present study, a RAPD-PCR fingerprinting method was developed to assign Tenerife cheese Leuconostoc mesenteroides strains to its three subspecies (mesenteroides, cremoris and dextranicum).
Methods and results: Arbitrarily primed-PCR gave different DNA banding patterns for each type strain of Leuc. mesenteroides subspecies consisting in three major and intense bands of: 1800, 1600 and 1150 bp for subspecies mesenteroides 1800, 1150 and approximately 350 bp for subspecies cremoris; and 1800, 1600 and 1500 bp for subspecies dextranicum. DNA fingerprints of Tenerife cheese Leuc. mesenteroides subspecies were coincident to that of their respective type strain. RAPD profiles were reproducible with DNA template obtained by two different extraction methods.
Conclusions: Tenerife cheese Leuc. mesenteroides strains were rapidly and unequivocally assigned to one of the subspecies by comparing their RAPD-PCR fingerprints with those displayed by type strains used as standards. This technique can be applied to complement preliminary identification of Leuc. mesenteroides to the species level by other molecular methods such as protein fingerprinting.
Significance and impact of the study: RAPD-PCR allows reliable, reproducible and rapid molecular differentiation of Tenerife cheese Leuc. mesenteroides subspecies with no need to use time-consuming and often ambiguous biochemical tests.