Quantification of Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria from Bohemian Honey

HRONCOVÁ, Zuzana, KONOPÁSKOVÁ, K., VOLŠTÁTOVÁ, Tereza and KILLER, Jiří. Quantification of Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria from Bohemian Honey. Scientia agriculturae bohemica, 2018, vol. 49(3), p. 192-200. ISSN 1211-3174.
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Honey, which has been used as an ancient remedy for infected wounds, has been shown in laboratory studies to have antimicrobial action against a spectrum of bacteria and fungi. Because very little quantitative information exists on the microbiota of honey, the aim of this study was to quantify the Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Gammaproteobacteria groups in samples of honeydew honey and blossom honey from six regions in the Czech Republic, using quantitative real-time PCR analysis with specific primers based on the 16S rRNA gene. Gammaproteobacteria and Firmicutes were clearly the most abundant, predominating Actinobacteria in both types of honey. Most of the Firmicutes were detected in samples from South Bohemia (mean gene copies per 1 g honey: 5.6 × 105) and Ústí nad Labem Region (3.7 × 105), which contained the lowest number of Gammaproteobacteria (15.5 × 103). The Actinobacteria were prevalent in samples from Plzeň (4.3 × 103) and Central Bohemia (5.4 × 103), where conversely the Firmicutes were least abundant. Honey thus contains bacterial species with probiotic activity and oligosaccharides which can act as prebiotics, suggesting that its incorporation into the human diet may potentially impart significant health benefits to consumers compared with ‘empty calories’ consumed as refined sugar.