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Unprecedented Diversity of Lactococcal Group 936 Bacteriophages Revealed by Amplicon Sequencing of the Portal Protein Gene

1
ACD Pharma AS, Karl Johans gate 16, 0154 Oslo, Norway
2
Laboratory of Microbial Gene Technology and Food Microbiology, Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O.B. 5003, N-1432 Aas, Norway
3
Tine SA, N-0187 Oslo, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(5), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11050443
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 11 May 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
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Abstract

Lactococcus lactis is one of the most important bacteria in dairy fermentations, being used in the production of cheese and buttermilk. The processes are vulnerable to phage attacks, and undefined mixtures of lactococcal strains are often used to reduce the risk of bacteriophage caused fermentation failure. Other preventive measures include culture rotation to prevent phage build-up and phage monitoring. Phage diversity, rather than quantity, is the largest threat to fermentations using undefined mixed starter cultures. We have developed a method for culture independent diversity analysis of lytic bacteriophages of the 936 group, the phages most commonly found in dairies. Using, as a target, a highly variable region of the portal protein gene, we demonstrate an unprecedented diversity and the presence of new 936 phages in samples taken from cheese production. The method should be useful to the dairy industry and starter culture manufacturers in their efforts to reduce phage problems. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lactococcus; bacteriophage group 936; dairy; culture independent; phage diversity Lactococcus; bacteriophage group 936; dairy; culture independent; phage diversity
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Frantzen, C.A.; Holo, H. Unprecedented Diversity of Lactococcal Group 936 Bacteriophages Revealed by Amplicon Sequencing of the Portal Protein Gene. Viruses 2019, 11, 443.

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