Quantification by real-time PCR of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris in milk fermented by a mixed culture

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2005 Jan;66(4):414-21. doi: 10.1007/s00253-004-1705-4. Epub 2004 Jul 23.


During cheese making, interactions between different strains of lactic acid bacteria play an important role. However, few methods are available to specifically determine each bacterial population in mixed cultures, in particular for strains of the same species. The aim of this study was to develop a real-time PCR quantification method to monitor the population of Lactococcus cremoris ATCC 19257 in mixed culture with Lactobacillus rhamnosus RW-9595M and the bacteriocin-producing microorganism Lc. diacetylactis UL719. The specificity of the two primers 68FCa33 and 16SR308 used to amplify a 240-bp fragment of DNA from Lc. cremoris was demonstrated by conventional PCR. Using these primers for real-time PCR, the detection limit was 2 cfu/reaction or 200 cfu of Lc. cremoris ATCC 19257 per millilitre of mixed culture in milk. In pure culture batch fermentation, good correlation was obtained between real-time PCR and the conventional plating method for monitoring Lc. cremoris growth. In mixed culture batch fermentation, Lb. rhamnosus and Lc. cremoris decreased due to nisin Z production by Lc. diacetylactis. The decrease of the Lc. cremoris cell population detected by real-time PCR was not possible to observe by the plate count method in the presence of a Lc. diacetylactis population that was 1 log higher.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Colony Count, Microbial / methods*
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Fermentation
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Technology
  • Lactococcus lactis / classification
  • Lactococcus lactis / drug effects
  • Lactococcus lactis / genetics*
  • Lactococcus lactis / isolation & purification*
  • Milk / microbiology*
  • Nisin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Nisin / pharmacology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Species Specificity


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Nisin
  • nisin Z