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Use of highly variable gene (yycH) as DNA marker to resolve interspecific relationships within the Lactobacillus casei group and a target for developing novel species-specific PCR primers

Huang, Chien-Hsun, Chang, Mu-Tzu, Huang, Lina
European food research & technology 2014 v.239 no.4 pp. 719-724
DNA primers, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, genes, genetic markers, nucleotide sequences, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal DNA, ribosomal RNA, sequence homology
Identifying Lactobacillus species group using only phenotypic and genotypic (16S rDNA sequence homology analysis) techniques yields inaccurate results. In this study, the partial yycH gene sequence was used for species discrimination by direct DNA sequencing and as target in a species-specific PCR assay. All examined Lactobacillus strains were clearly distinguished from the closely related species by comparative sequence analysis of the yycH gene. The average sequence similarity for the yycH gene (78.5 %) among type strains was significantly lower than that of the 16S rRNA sequence (99.0 %). Therefore, the yycH gene can be proposed as an additional molecular marker for Lactobacillus casei group that provides higher resolution than 16S rRNA. In addition, the species-specific primers were also developed based on the yycH gene sequences, which were then employed for PCR using the template DNA of Lactobacter strains. The PCR primer pairs were shown to be specific for Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. Our data indicate that the phylogenetic relationships in the L. casei group are easily resolved by direct sequencing of the yycH gene and combined with species-specific PCR assays.