Journal of dairy science

Comparative analysis of bacterial community composition in bulk tank raw milk by culture-dependent and culture-independent methods using the viability dye propidium monoazide.

PMID 25242425


Microbial diversity of 3 raw milk samples after 72 h of storage at 4 °C in a bulk tank was analyzed by culture-dependent and -independent methods. The culture-dependent approach was based on the isolation of bacteria on complex and selective media, chemotaxonomic differentiation of isolates, and subsequent identification by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The culture-independent approach included the treatment of raw milk with the dye propidium monoazide before direct DNA extraction by mechanic and enzymatic cell lysis approaches, and cloning and sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes. The selective detection of viable bacteria improved the comparability between bacterial compositions of raw milk based on culture-dependent and -independent methods, which was the major objective of this study. Several bacterial species of the phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria were detected by the culture-dependent method, whereas mainly bacteria of the phylum Proteobacteria as well as low proportions of the phyla Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria were detected by the culture-independent method. This led to the conclusion that the phylum Firmicutes was strongly discriminated by the culture-independent approach. Generally, species richness detected by the culture-dependent method was higher than that detected by the culture-independent method for all samples. However, few taxa could be detected solely by the direct DNA-based method. In conclusion, the combination of culture-dependent and -independent methods led to the detection of the highest bacterial diversity for the raw milk samples analyzed. It was shown that DNA extraction from raw milk as the essential step in culture-independent methods causes the discrimination of taxa by incomplete cell lysis. Treatment of raw milk with the viability dye propidium monoazide was optimized for the application in raw milk without former removal of milk ingredients and proved to be a suitable tool to ensure comparability of bacterial diversity depicted by both methods.