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Microarray-based transcriptome of Listeria monocytogenes adapted to sublethal concentrations of acetic acid, lactic acid, and hydrochloric acid

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Abstract:

Listeria monocytogenes, an important foodborne pathogen, commonly encounters organic acids in food-related environments. The transcriptome of L. monocytogenes L502 was analyzed after adaptation to pH 5 in the presence of acetic acid, lactic acid, or hydrochloric acid (HCl) at 25 °C, representing a condition encountered in mildly acidic ready-to-eat food kept at room temperature. The acid-treated cells were compared with a reference culture with a pH of 6.7 at the time of RNA harvesting. The number of genes and magnitude of transcriptional responses were higher for the organic acids than for HCl. Protein coding genes described for low pH stress, energy transport and metabolism, virulence determinates, and acid tolerance response were commonly regulated in the 3 acid-stressed cultures. Interestingly, the transcriptional levels of histidine and cell wall biosynthetic operons were upregulated, indicating possible universal response against low pH stress in L. monocytogenes. The opuCABCD operon, coding proteins for compatible solutes transport, and the transcriptional regulator sigL were significantly induced in the organic acids, strongly suggesting key roles during organic acid stress. The present study revealed the complex transcriptional responses of L. monocytogenes towards food-related acidulants and opens the roadmap for more specific and in-depth future studies.

Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes; acetic acid; acid stress; acide acétique; acide lactique; adaptation; lactic acid; microarray; micropuce; stress acide; transcriptome

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1139/w2012-091

Affiliations: 1: Nofima - Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, P.O. Box 210, N-1431 Ås, Norway. 2: Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, N-1432 Ås, Norway.

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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