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Psychrobacters and Related Bacteria in Freshwater Fish

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Three phenotypic identification systems were employed to identify 106 strains of gram-negative, nonmotile, aerobic bacteria obtained during iced storage of wild (Salmo trutta and Esox lucius) and farmed (Oncorhynchus mykiss) freshwater fish. Using diagnostic tables and computer-assisted identification, the isolates were Psychrobacter (64 strains), Acinetobacter (24 strains), Moraxella (6 strains), Chryseobacterium (5 strains), Myroides odoratus (2 strains), Flavobacterium (1 strain), Empedobacter (1 strain), and unidentified (3 strains). Overall similarities of all strains were determined for 108 characters by numerical analysis (simple matching coefficient of similarity [S] and clustering by unweighted pair group average linkage [UPGMA]). At the 77% similarity level, 92 strains formed nine major clusters (3 or more strains) and four small clusters (2 strains). Cluster 1 (25 isolates divided into two main subclusters) could be assigned to Psychrobacter phenylpyruvicus, clusters 2 and 3 (26 isolates) were designated as Psychrobacter immobilis, and clusters 4 (3 isolates) and 7 (4 isolates) were identified as Psychrobacter urativorans and Psychrobacter spp., respectively. Clusters 5 (five isolates), 6 (three isolates), and 9 (five isolates) were labeled as Acinetobacter spp., Acinetobacter johnsonii, and Acinetobacter lwoffii, respectively. Cluster 8 (12 isolates), with a high resemblance to Thornley's phenon 4 (a heterogeneous group of bacteria isolated from poultry and related to Acinetobacter), remained unnamed. The restriction pattern was identical for strains grouped into clusters 2 and 3 (P. immobilis) but was different for the remaining Psychrobacter isolates. A large proportion of isolates belonging to the family Moraxellaceae were closely related. Psychrobacters and A. johnsonii were present in freshly caught fish and river water. In the latter stages of storage, P. phenylpyruvicus and acinetobacters tended to decrease, whereas P. immobilis increased.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Hygiene and Food Technology, Veterinary Faculty, University of León, E-24071-León, Spain

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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