Our infrastructure

Our research facilities comprise the classical infrastructure of a microbiology research group, including for working with biosafety group 2 bacteria, and amounts about 2500 m2.

For taxonomic characterization of pure cultures, a wide range of research tools are available, including most state-of-the-art genotypic techniques (i.e., sequence analysis of various genes, a range of species- or strain-specific DNA fingerprinting methods, and DNA:DNA hybridizations), chemotaxonomic methods (i.e., analysis of whole-cell fatty acids and polar lipids, and MALDI-TOF and electrospray mass spectrometry) and phenotypic characterization.

For molecular analysis of natural ecosystems, Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) has been successfully used for analyzing and monitoring biodiversity and dynamics of bacterial communities occurring in commercial probiotic products, fermented food products (including sourdough, sorghum, and artisan cheeses), modified-atmosphere-packaged convenience food products, and faecal samples. Currently, the lab is gaining expertise in the field of MALDI-TOF and electrospray mass spectrometry for studying bacterial communities.

For culture-independent detection and enumeration of specific bacterial groups in complex sample matrices, real-time PCR protocols have been developed to monitor relative concentrations of bifidobacteria in probiotic products and faecal samples, and to quantify Bacillus contaminants during gelatin production. The research group has also considerable expertise in computerized data handling and database construction and is expanding its basic knowledge of bioinformatics tools.