The diversity of nine dairy strains of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis in fermented milk was investigated by both genotypic and phenotypic analyses. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing were used to establish an integrated genotypic classification. This classification was coherent with discrimination of the L. lactis subsp. lactis bv. diacetylactis lineage and reflected clonal complex phylogeny and the uniqueness of the genomes of these strains. To assess phenotypic diversity, 82 variables were selected as important dairy features; they included physiological descriptors and the production of metabolites and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Principal-component analysis (PCA) demonstrated the phenotypic uniqueness of each of these genetically closely related strains, allowing strain discrimination. A method of variable selection was developed to reduce the time-consuming experimentation. We therefore identified 20 variables, all associated with VOCs, as phenotypic markers allowing discrimination between strain groups. These markers are representative of the three metabolic pathways involved in flavor: lipolysis, proteolysis, and glycolysis. Despite great phenotypic diversity, the strains could be divided into four robust phenotypic clusters based on their metabolic orientations. Inclusion of genotypic diversity in addition to phenotypic characters in the classification led to five clusters rather than four being defined. However, genotypic characters make a smaller contribution than phenotypic variables (no genetic distances selected among the most contributory variables). This work proposes an original method for the phenotypic differentiation of closely related strains in milk and may be the first step toward a predictive classification for the manufacture of starters. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Dhaisne, A., Guellerin, M., Laroute, V., Laguerre, S., Cocaign-Bousquet, M., Bourgeois, P. L., & Loubiere, P. (2013). Genotypic and phenotypic analysis of dairy lactococcus lactis biodiversity in milk: Volatile organic compounds as discriminating markers. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 79(15), 4643–4652. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01018-13