Matej Planý, Tomáš Kuchta, Katarína Šoltýs, Tomáš Szemes, Domenico Pangallo and Peter Siekel
Knowledge about diversity and taxonomic structure of the microbial population present in traditional fermented foods plays a key role in starter culture selection, safety improvement and quality enhancement of the end product. Aim of this study was to investigate microbial consortia composition in Slovak bryndza cheese. For this purpose, we used culture-independent approach based on 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing using next generation sequencing platform. Results obtained by the analysis of three commercial (produced on industrial scale in winter season) and one traditional (artisanal, most valued, produced in May) Slovak bryndza cheese sample were compared. A diverse prokaryotic microflora composed mostly of the genera Lactococcus, Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, and Enterococcus was identified. Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis and Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris were the dominant taxons in all tested samples. Second most abundant species, detected in all bryndza cheeses, were Lactococcus fujiensis and Lactococcus taiwanensis, independently by two different approaches, using different reference 16S rRNA genes databases (Greengenes and NCBI respectively). They have been detected in bryndza cheese samples in substantial amount for the first time. The narrowest microbial diversity was observed in a sample made with a starter culture from pasteurised milk. Metagenomic analysis by high-throughput sequencing using 16S rRNA genes seems to be a powerful tool for studying the structure of the microbial population in cheeses.