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Heat Treatment Adaptations in Clostridium perfringens Vegetative Cells

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Vegetative cells of Clostridium perfringens enterotoxigenic strains NCTC 8679, NCTC 8238, and H6 were grown at 37°C followed by a 60-min exposure to 28°C or 46°C. D 10-values, as a measure of thermal resistance at 60°C, were significantly lower for 28°C exposures as compared with cultures given 37 and 46°C exposures. Following refrigeration at 4°C for 24 h, D 10-values for the 37 and 46°C samples could not be differentiated from 28°C samples. Western immunoblot analyses of lysates from heat-adapted cells also detected the increased expression of proteins reacting with antiserum directed against the molecular chaperonins from Escherichia coli; GroEL, DnaJ, and the small acid soluble protein from Bacillus subtilis, SspC. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) identified thermal transitions corresponding to ribosomal protein denaturations at 72.1 ± 0.5°C. Any cellular heat adaptations in the DSC profiles were lost following refrigeration for several days to simulate minimally processed food storage conditions. Further analyses of high-speed pellets from crude cell extract fractions using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis detected the differential gene expression of at least four major proteins in heat-adapted vegetative cells of C. perfringens. N-terminal amino acid analyses identified two of the proteins as glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase and rubrerythrin. Both appear to have roles in this anaerobe under stressful conditions.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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