Metagenomic insights into the changes in microbial community and antimicrobial resistance genes associated with different salt content of red pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) sauce.


Institute of Agro-products Processing Science and Technology, Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610066, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Fermented red pepper (FRP) sauce has been eaten in worldwide for many years. The salt content and resident microbial community influences the quality of the FRP sauce and may confer health (e.g., probiotics) or harm (e.g., antibiotic resistance genes) to the consumers in some circumstances; however, the salt-mediated alteration of microbial community and antibiotic resistance genes are little known. In this study, a combination of whole genome sequencing and amplicon analysis was used to investigate the changes in microbial community and antimicrobial resistance genes in response to different salt content during red pepper fermentation. While the family Enterobacteriaceae dominated in high-salt (15-25%) samples, Lactobacillaceae quickly became the dominant population in place of Enterobacteriaceae after 24 days in 10% salt samples. Compared to 0.05 antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) per cell number on average in 10% salt sample, 16.6 ARGs were present in high-salt samples, wherein the bacterial hosts were major assigned to Enterobacteriaceae including genera Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Escherichia, Salmonella and Klebsiella. Multidrug resistance genes were the predominant ARG type. Functional profiling showed that histidine kinase functions were of much higher abundance in high-salt samples and included several osmotic stress-related two-component systems that simultaneously encoded ARGs. These results give first metagenomic insights into the salt-mediated changes in microbial community composition and a broad view of associated antibiotic resistance genes in the process of food fermentation.


ARG,Enterobacteriaceae,FRP sauce,Lactobacillaceae,Microbial community,Salt,

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