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Culture of low density E. coli cells in alginate–chitosan microcapsules facilitates stress resistance by up-regulating luxS/AI-2 system

Gao, Meng, Song, Huiyi, Zheng, Huizhen, Ren, Ying, Li, Shen, Liu, Xiudong, Yu, Weiting, Ma, Xiaojun
Carbohydrate polymers 2016 v.141 pp. 160-165
Escherichia coli, gastric juice, genes, mutants, probiotics, quorum sensing, stress tolerance, viability
Entrapped low density cells with culture (ELDCwc) have been proved as a more effective way than direct entrapped high density cells (dEHDC) and free cells to protect probiotics from harsh environment, that is, to improve their stress resistance. The aim of this study was to investigate whether bacterial quorum sensing (QS) facilitated the stress resistance of Escherichia coli in microcapsules by detecting the expression of luxS/AI-2 system. As a result, both the expression of luxS gene and the concentration of autoinducer-2 (AI-2, QS signal molecule) have been discovered higher in ELDCwc than in dEHDC and free cells. Besides that, the luxS mutant E. coli strain was used as a negative control of QS to verify the influence of QS on bacterial stress resistance in microcapsules. The significantly decreased viability of luxS mutant strain in simulated gastric fluid also indicated that the QS played a critical role in protecting microorganisms from severe environment.