16S rRNA short amplicon sequencing-based microbiota profiling has been thought of and suggested as a feasible method to assess food safety. However, even if a comprehensive microbial information can be obtained by microbiota profiling, it would not be necessarily sufficient for all circumstances. To prove this, the feasibility of the most widely used V3-V4 amplicon sequencing method for food safety assessment was examined here. We designed a pathogen (Vibrio parahaemolyticus) contamination and/or V. parahaemolyticus-specific phage treatment model of raw oysters under improper storage temperature and monitored their microbial structure changes. The samples stored at refrigerator temperature (negative control, NC) and those that were stored at room temperature without any treatment (no treatment, NT) were included as control groups. The profiling results revealed that no statistical difference exists between the NT group and the pathogen spiked- and/or phage treated-groups even when the bacterial composition was compared at the possible lowest-rank taxa, family/ genus level. In the beta-diversity analysis, all the samples except the NC group formed one distinct cluster. Notably, the samples with pathogen and/or phage addition did not form each cluster even though the enumerated number of V. parahaemolyticus in those samples were extremely different. These discrepant results indicate that the feasibility of 16S rRNA short amplicon sequencing should not be overgeneralized in microbiological safety assessment of food samples, such as raw oyster.
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- Microbiota profiling
- V3-V4 amplicon sequencing
- Vibrio parahaemolyticus
- food safety
- microbiological safety assessment