High-throughput sequencing for detection of subpopulations of bacteria not previously associated with artisanal cheeses

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Aug;78(16):5717-23. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00918-12. Epub 2012 Jun 8.


Here, high-throughput sequencing was employed to reveal the highly diverse bacterial populations present in 62 Irish artisanal cheeses and, in some cases, associated cheese rinds. Using this approach, we revealed the presence of several genera not previously associated with cheese, including Faecalibacterium, Prevotella, and Helcococcus and, for the first time, detected the presence of Arthrobacter and Brachybacterium in goats' milk cheese. Our analysis confirmed many previously observed patterns, such as the dominance of typical cheese bacteria, the fact that the microbiota of raw and pasteurized milk cheeses differ, and that the level of cheese maturation has a significant influence on Lactobacillus populations. It was also noted that cheeses containing adjunct ingredients had lower proportions of Lactococcus species. It is thus apparent that high-throughput sequencing-based investigations can provide valuable insights into the microbial populations of artisanal foods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Biota*
  • Cattle
  • Cheese / microbiology*
  • Goats
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Ireland
  • Milk / microbiology
  • Sheep