Genotypic analyses of lactobacilli with a range of tannase activities isolated from human feces and fermented foods

Yosuke Nishitani, Eiki Sasaki, Tomohiko Fujisawa, Ro Osawa
Systematic and Applied Microbiology 2004, 27 (1): 109-17
A total of 77 tannase producing lactobacilli strains isolated from human feces or fermented foods were examined for their genotypic profiles and intensities of tannase production. With a PCR-based assay targeting recA gene, all strains except one isolate were assigned to either Lactobacillus plantarum, L. paraplantarum, or L. pentosus whereas a 16/23S rDNA targeted PCR-based assay identified all except 6 isolates (inclusive of the above one isolate) as one of the closely related species. Subsequent DNA/DNA hybridization assays revealed that these 6 exceptional isolates showed low homology (between 1.2% and 55.8% relative DNA binding) against type strains of the three species. Supplemental carbohydrate fermentation profiles on the 6 isolates indicated that two of them were identified as L. acidophilus, one as Pediococcus acidilactici, one as P. pentosaceus, and two remained unidentifiable. The evidence suggests that the 16/23S rDNA targeted PCR assay can be used as a reliable identification tool for the closely related lactobacilli, and that the tannase gene is widely distributed within members of the Lactobacillaceae family. Meanwhile, a randomly amplified polymorphism DNA (RAPD) analysis revealed that all except 8 isolates were well allocated in 4 major RAPD clusters, though not species specific, consisting of two L. plantarum predominant clusters, one L. paraplantarum predominant, and one L. pentosus predominant. The RAPD patterns of the 8 non-clustered isolates, which consisted of the 6 unidentifiable isolates and 2 isolates identified as L. pentosus, were <40% similarity to those belonging to the 4 clusters. A quantitative assay of the tannase activities showed that there was a marked variation in the activities among the strains, which did not correlate with either species identification or clustering by RAPD.

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