Polyphasic Taxonomy Approach for Microbial Identification

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Overview

When formulating any probiotic dosage form, satisfactory levels of bacterial identification and mandatory strain levels are a priority. At present, there are a variety of identification methods for probiotics, including physiological, morphological, biochemical, and genotyping. But so far, the comprehensive application of these techniques in probiotic identification has not been reported. The combined use of phenotypic, biochemical, and genotypic methods for microbial identification is referred to as a "polyphasic approach". The polyphasic approach is a recent trend in microbial taxonomy, which provides a natural and authentic system of classification of microbes.

Methods Used in Polyphasic Taxonomy at Creative Biolabs

Currently, bacterial taxonomy relies on a polyphasic approach that combines phenotypic and genotypic characteristics.

Genotypic methods are methods that target DNA or RNA molecules. There is no doubt that these methods currently dominate modern taxonomic research due to advances in technology.

Phenotypic methods comprise all those that are not directed toward DNA or RNA. Phenotypic methods include a wide array of methods the aim of which is to describe the main physical characteristics of micro-organisms, including morphology, staining, antigenic properties, ultrastructure, and chemical composition of the cell wall and outer membrane, metabolic potential, protein composition, pathogenesis, and habitat.

The Importance of the Polyphasic Approach

All data obtained on the biological properties of a bacterial strain are of great value, especially in the case of probiotics, which claim benefits for human health. Identification requires a stable and fully accepted classification. A more appropriate approach also known as the polyphasic approach is used to distinguish bacterial species based on morphological and biochemical data supplemented with information obtained from molecular techniques. There is a growing tendency for identification procedures to become polyphasic, especially when the primary goal is to support the effects of a probiotic claim. The proposed comprehensive polyphasic approach for strain level discrimination of probiotic microorganisms may offer the following advantages:

  • To confirm the final match through a combination of techniques.
  • To yield a resolution of a non-match by using a combination of various techniques.
  • To yield a resolution of an inconclusive match by using a combination of various techniques.
  • To yield data for phylogenetic analysis.
  • To get useful data for differentiating between strains and bacterial species at the molecular level.
  • To examine the genetic or phenotypic characteristics of specific microorganisms for alterations in the development of strains as live biotherapeutics.
  • To prevent mislabeling by identifying and accurately representing the content while labeling probiotic products.
  • To develop a new generation of probiotics for the site and disease-specific action.

Schematic representation of polyphasic approach to be used for probiotic bacterial identification.Fig.1 Schematic representation of polyphasic approach to be used for probiotic bacterial identification. (Arora, 2017)

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Reference

  1. Arora, M.; Baldi, A. Selective identification and characterization of potential probiotic strains: A review on comprehensive polyphasic approach. Applied Clinical Research, Clinical Trials and Regulatory Affairs. 2017, 4 (1): 60-76.

For Research Use Only. Not intended for use in food manufacturing or medical procedures (diagnostics or therapeutics). Do Not Use in Humans.

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