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Journal of Food Protection
Vol. 5, 2015, Pages: 868-1055

Molecular Analysis of Skin Bacterial Assemblages from Codfish and Pollock after Dry-Salted Fish Production

Pegoraro, Natália, Calado, Ricardo, Duarte, Letícia N., Manco, Sónia C., Fernandes, Fernando J., Polónia, Ana R. M., Cleary, Daniel F. R., Gomes, Newton C. M.

Department of Biology, CESAM, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal.


Dry-salted codfish and pollock are commercially important food products with a relatively long shelf life. To date, bacterial assemblages present in these products that are relevant for food safety have been monitored using only classical molecular and/or cultivation methods. The present study employed a rapid and accurate identification method involving PCR with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and pyrosequencing to characterize the bacterial assemblages in the skin of three closely related fishes: Gadus morhua, Gadus macrocephalus, and Theragra chalcogramma. This methodology can be crucial for timely identification of food spoilage, hazard analysis, and monitoring of critical control points during food production. Although all specimens were processed in the same factory, there were significant compositional differences in their skin bacterial communities. In general, the bacterial community was dominated by gram-negative species of the Gammaproteobacteria. Pyrosequencing yielded 90, 69, and 245 operational taxonomic units associated with G. morhua, G. macrocephalus, and T. chalcogramma, respectively. The most dominant operational taxonomic units were assigned in order to Pseudomonas sp., Serratia marcescens, Salinisphaera sp., and Psychrobacter pulmonis. Spoilage and pathogenic bacterial groups were detected in all the studied salted gadoid samples.


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