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Discrimination of psychrotolerant Bacillus cereus group based on MALDI-TOF MS analysis of ribosomal subunit proteins

Takahashi, Naomi, Nagai, Satomi, Fujita, Akane, Ido, Yousuke, Kato, Kenji, Saito, Ayumi, Moriya, Yuka, Tomimatsu, Yumiko, Kaneta, Naoko, Tsujimoto, Yoshinori, Tamura, Hiroto
Food microbiology 2020 v.91 pp. 103542
Bacillus cereus, Bacillus mycoides, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus weihenstephanensis, agar, biomarkers, food industry, foods, matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry, operon, protein subunits, refrigeration, ribosomal proteins, spoilage, vomiting
Psychrotolerant species of the Bacillus cereus group, Bacillus mycoides and Bacillus weihenstephanensis, can grow at ≥ 7 °C and are significant concerns for the food industry due to their ability to cause spoilage of refrigerated food. In addition to that, some strains of B. weihenstephanensis can produce emetic toxin, namely cereulide, which is known to cause vomiting. Therefore, rapid and simple methods to discriminate psychrotolerant B. cereus group species are crucial. Here, matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and the S10-spc-alpha operon gene encoded ribosomal protein mass spectrum (S10-GERMS) method were used to discriminate psychrotolerant species of the B. cereus group based on a set of four ribosomal subunit proteins (S10, S16, S20 and L30). A total of 36 strains of B. cereus group were cultured on LB agar, and analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS. The four biomarkers successfully discriminated 12 strains of psychrotolerant species from mesophilic species of the B. cereus group. Furthermore, the four biomarkers also classified some Bacillus thuringiensis strains.MALDI-TOF MS analysis using the S10-GERMS method allowed simple and rapid discrimination of psychrotolerant species of the B. cereus group from other mesophilic species. This method has a possibility to enable manufacturers and distributors of refrigerated foods to control psychrotolerant species of the B. cereus group effectively.