Molecular biology-based methods for quantification of bacteria in mixed culture: perspectives and limitations
Culture-independent molecular tools have been introduced into food microbiology during the last ten years. Most of them are based on the amplification of a bulk bacterial DNA extracted directly from a sample, the targeting of a selected gene, or a variable region of the selected gene. Many studies have explored indigenous lactic acid bacteria in dairy products by culture-independent molecular approaches. It is well known that indigenous microbiota significantly contribute to the uniqueness of artisanal cheeses. However, there is no molecular method that can provide complete qualitative and quantitative insight into the microbiota associated with a certain ecosystem. Therefore, a combination of molecular approaches should be applied to get a more objective picture of the microbiota. This paper aims to present the most widely used culture-independent molecular tools for identifying lactic acid bacteria in dairy products.