Journal of Applied Genetics

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 217–223 | Cite as

AFLP protocol comparison for microbial diversity fingerprinting

  • Gaia Bertani
  • Maria Luisa Savo SardaroEmail author
  • Erasmo Neviani
  • Camilla Lazzi
Microbial Genetics • Original Paper


Over the last decade, several methods based on genomic DNA have been developed for the identification and genotyping of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. These genomic methods differ regarding taxonomic range, discriminatory power, reproducibility, and ease of interpretation and standardization. The amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) technique is a very powerful DNA fingerprinting technique for DNA of any source or complexity, varying in both size and base composition. In addition, this method shows high discriminatory power and good reproducibility allowing it to be efficient in discriminating at both the species and strain levels. The development and application of AFLP have allowed significant progress in the study of biodiversity and taxonomy of microorganisms. In the last years, the Applied Biosystems AFLP Microbial Fingerprinting Kit, now out of production, was widely used in various studies to perform AFLP characterization of selected bacteria strains (described by Vos et al. (Nucleic Acids Res 23(21):4407–4414, 1995)). Its replacement gives the possibility for laboratories to continue the use of the previous AFLP data as a reference for bacteria genetic fingerprinting analysis in biodiversity studies. To overcome this issue a result comparison, by using an improved AFLP protocol and the AFLP commercial kit, was performed. In particular, previous results on different species (Listeria monocytogenes, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Streptococcus thermophilus) obtained with the commercial kit were compared with the improved AFLP procedure to validate the protocol. When compared with the AFLP Microbial Fingerprinting Kit, the improved protocol shows high reproducibility, resolution, and overall, is a faster method with lower costs.


AFLP protocol Bacterial diversity Genome polymorphisms Phylogenetic analysis 



Authors acknowledge the Department of Soil, Plant, and Food Science, University of Bari, Italy, for providing L. plantarum strains (POM1, POM31, POM43, POM40, POM8, C6, POM38). The authors are grateful to “Consorzio tutela Pecorino Toscano DOP” and “Consorzio tutela del formaggio Gorgonzola” for providing the samples.

Author contributions

Bertani contributed to the analysis, acquisition, and interpretation of data; drafting of the manuscript; and critical revision. Savo Sardaro contributed to the study conception and designs; the work, analysis, and interpretation of data; drafting of the manuscript; and critical revision. Lazzi and Neviani contributed to design the work and in the critical revision.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Animal studies

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

13353_2019_492_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.6 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 3673 kb)


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Copyright information

© Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food and Drug DepartmentUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Human Science and Promotion of the Quality of LifeUniversity San Raffaele SrlRomeItaly

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