Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.105, No.11, 4761-4773, 2021
Amplicon-sequencing of raw milk microbiota: impact of DNA extraction and library-PCR
The highly complex raw milk matrix challenges the sample preparation for amplicon-sequencing due to low bacterial counts and high amounts of eukaryotic DNA originating from the cow. In this study, we optimized the extraction of bacterial DNA from raw milk for microbiome analysis and evaluated the impact of cycle numbers in the library-PCR. The selective lysis of eukaryotic cells by proteinase K and digestion of released DNA before bacterial lysis resulted in a high reduction of mostly eukaryotic DNA and increased the proportion of bacterial DNA. Comparative microbiome analysis showed that a combined enzymatic and mechanical lysis procedure using the DNeasy(R) PowerFood(R) Microbial Kit with a modified protocol was best suitable to achieve high DNA quantities after library-PCR and broad coverage of detected bacterial biodiversity. Increasing cycle numbers during library-PCR systematically altered results for species and beta-diversity with a tendency to overrepresentation or underrepresentation of particular taxa. To limit PCR bias, high cycle numbers should thus be avoided. An optimized DNA extraction yielding sufficient bacterial DNA and enabling higher PCR efficiency is fundamental for successful library preparation. We suggest that a protocol using ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to resolve casein micelles, selective lysis of somatic cells, extraction of bacterial DNA with a combination of mechanical and enzymatic lysis, and restriction of PCR cycles for analysis of raw milk microbiomes is optimal even for samples with low bacterial numbers.