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Exploring the diversity of extremely halophilic archaea in food-grade salts
Henriet, O.; Fourmentin, J.; Delincé, B.; Mahillon, J. (2014). Exploring the diversity of extremely halophilic archaea in food-grade salts. Intern. J. Food Microbiol. 191: 36-44. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2014.08.019
In: International Journal of Food Microbiology. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0168-1605, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 278956 [ OMA ]

Keyword
Author keywords
    Food-grade salt; Halophilic archaea; High salinity media; Metagenomics

Authors  Top 
  • Henriet, O.
  • Fourmentin, J.
  • Delincé, B.
  • Mahillon, J.

Abstract
    Salting is one of the oldest means of food preservation: adding salt decreases water activity and inhibits microbial development. However, salt is also a source of living bacteria and archaea. The occurrence and diversity of viable archaea in this extreme environment were assessed in 26 food-grade salts from worldwide origin by cultivation on four culture media. Additionally, metagenomic analysis of 16S rRNA gene was performed on nine salts. Viable archaea were observed in 14 salts and colony counts reached more than 105 CFU per gram in three salts. All archaeal isolates identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing belonged to the Halobacteriaceae family and were related to 17 distinct genera among which Haloarcula, Halobacterium and Halorubrum were the most represented. High-throughput sequencing generated extremely different profiles for each salt. Four of them contained a single major genus (Halorubrum, Halonotius or Haloarcula) while the others had three or more genera of similar occurrence. The number of distinct genera per salt ranged from 21 to 27. Halorubrum had a significant contribution to the archaeal diversity in seven salts; this correlates with its frequent occurrence in crystallization ponds. On the contrary, Haloquadratum walsbyi, the halophilic archaea most commonly found in solar salterns, was a minor actor of the food-grade salt diversity. Our results indicate that the occurrence and diversity of viable halophilic archaea in salt can be important, while their fate in the gastrointestinal tract after ingestion remains largely unknown.

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